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Pondering Political Nepotism at Napoleon’s Tomb

Rick Steves Europe Follow
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  • 2 years ago
One of history’s greatest megalomaniacs was Napoleon Bonaparte. I’m forever enthralled by the majesty of his tomb and the memorials to his family surrounding it. He put his son and siblings on various thrones around Europe: brother Joseph, who was King of Naples and Spain; brother Louis, who was King of Holland; brother Jérôme, who was King of Westphalia; son Napoleon II, who was King of Rome; sister Elisa, who was Grand Duchess of Tuscany; and lots of nephews and nieces. It got me thinking about autocrats, political nepotism, and how lonely it would be if the only people you could really, really trust were relatives.

(This is Day 51 of my "100 Days in Europe" series. As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences across Europe. Still to come: Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. Follow along at http://www.ricksteves.com/blog.)
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