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Bonaparte, Julie Clary (1771–1845)

Bonaparte, Julie Clary (1771–1845)

Queen of Spain and wife of Joseph Bonaparte. Name variations: Marie Julie; Julie Clary. Born Julie Clary in 1771; died in 1845; daughter of François Clary (a prosperous merchant of Marseille); older sister ofDésirée (1777–1860, later queen of Sweden, who became a love interest of Napoleon I); daughter-in-law ofLetizia Bonaparte (1750–1836); sister-in-law of Napoleon I, emperor of France (r. 1804–1815); married Joseph Bonaparte, on August 1, 1794, in Cuges, France; children: Zénaide Bonaparte; Charlotte Bonaparte.

Short and plain in appearance, Julie Clary was known as sweet natured and loving. She was also exceedingly rich; her marriage to Joseph Bonaparte helped established the Bonaparte fortune and made her a favorite with her mother-in-law Letizia. Julie lived apart from her husband more often than not, and some have speculated that this was the reason the union endured. In 1815, Joseph fled to America, leaving her in Italy. Reunited in 1844, Julie spent the last year of her life with him.


Decaux, Alain. Napoleon's Mother. London: The Cresset Press, 1962.

Stirling, Monica. Madame Letizia: A Portrait of Napoleon's Mother. NY: Harper & Brothers, 1961,

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