|Empress Eugenie surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting, a painting by Franz Xavier Winterhalter. Source: Wikipedia|
Madrid, July 11, 1920 - Europe's Queen of Sorrow, Empress Eugenie of France, died shortly before 8 am due to acute intestinal inflammation, a dispatch from Madrid to the New York Times, reported. Her death came quietly, said her lady-in-waiting the Duchess of Alba, who was the only person right beside her, when she breathe her last. Her nephew, the Duke of Alba, at whose residence he died, was in France, while other members of the family were absent.
The former empress had suffered from ophtalmia and had undergone surgery to remove her cataract. She will be accorded full imperial honors.
While the empress' health had been in decline for some years now due to old age, her death still came quite a surprise, as she was always seen walking on the grounds of the Duke of Alba's residence. In fact, the empress was planning to visit London next week and her transportation has been arranged already.
Empress Eugenie was born Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick, 16th Countess of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales on May 5, 1826. She was the daughter Scots-born William Kirkpatrick of Closbourn and Marie Françoise de Grevignée. On Jan. 22, 1853, she married Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who became President of the Second French Republic and later Emperor of the Second Empire as Napoleon III, making her "personally influential in European events and destinies of three generations." During the 1860s, Eugenie's fashiont taste became trending throughout Europe. After the empire was overthrown following France's defeat during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1, Eugenie and Napoleon settled in England. Her health steadily declined following the emperor's death and that of her son, her health steadily deteriorated.
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