- NAME: Joséphine de Beauharnais
- OCCUPATION: Empress
- BIRTH DATE: June 23, 1763
- DEATH DATE: May 29, 1814
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Trois-Îlets, Martinique, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Malmaison, France
- Originally: Marie-Josèphe-Rose Tascher de La Pagerie
- AKA: Vicomtesse (viscountess) de Beauharnais
- AKA: Joséphine Bonaparte
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Joséphine de Beauharnais was a socialite who eventully became General Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife and a French empress.
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Word of her activities eventually made their way to Napoleon, who would go into a rage and threaten divorce. Joséphine would successfully deny the accusations, but by the time of their coronation as French emperor and empress on December 2, 1804, the marriage was in shambles. Yet with the encouragement of Joséphine’s daughter, Hortense, the coronation went on as scheduled.
The union remained tempestuous, with each accusing the other of infidelity, and more tension arising with the couple bearing no sons to be heir to the throne. By 1809, Napoleon arranged for the annulment of the marriage, with Joséphine being forced to make way for the emperor’s wedding to a younger Marie-Louise of Austria. Rejected, but extremely well provided for, Joséphine retired to her Malmaison estate. She died in Malmaison, France, on May 29, 1814. She is buried in the nearby church of Saint Pierre-Saint Paul in Rueil. Her beloved and devoted daughter is interred near her.
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