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Catherine of Wurttemberg (1783–1835)

Catherine of Wurttemberg (1783–1835)

Queen of Westphalia and second wife of Jérôme Bonaparte. Born Sophia Dorothea Frederica Catherine on February 21, 1783; died on November 28, 1835; daughter of Frederick II (1754–1816), duke of Wurttemberg (r. 1797–1802), elector of Wurttemberg (r. 1802–1806), also known as Frederick I, king of Wurttemberg (r. 1806–1816), and Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (1764–1788); married Jérôme Bonaparte (1784–1860), king of Westphalia, on August 23, 1807; daughter-in-law of Letizia Bonaparte (1750–1836); sister-in-law of Napoleon I (1769–1821), emperor of France; children: Jérôme Napoléon; Mathilde , princess of Westphalia (1820–1904); Napoléon Joseph also known as Plon-Plon.

Intelligent, plump, and given to blushing, Catherine of Wurttemberg did not want to marry Jérôme Bonaparte but fell deeply in love with him after the nuptials. Though Jérôme treated her badly almost from the beginning, she remained devoted to him through battle, imprisonment, and exile, even when her father offered her anything she wanted if she would divorce him. She continued to be a favorite of her mother-in-law Letizia Bonaparte , for whom she had the greatest respect. In 1840, five years after her death, Jérôme would marry his third wife, Giustina Bartolini-Badelli .

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