Anniversary of the "route Napoléon" [fr]
H.E. Ambassador Barbier was in Pietermaritzburg from May 30th to June 1st 2014 to participate in the "route Napoléon" anniversary commemorations.
Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte (1856-1879), only son of Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie, came to South Africa in March 1879 with the British reinforcements sent following the Isandlwana disaster during the Anglo-Zulu war. After spending a few days in Cape Town, he came to Durban before arriving to Pietermaritzburg. There, he joined Lord Chelmsford’s staff as a camp aid. On 1 June 1879, the reconnaissance group he was integrated to was attacked by Zulu warriors. Prince Imperial found death during the battle.
In 1880, Emperess Eugénie came to South Africa in pilgrimage on her son’s footsteps.
Every year, the Alliance Française of Pitermaritzburg and The French Presence in Kwazulu-Natal Association organise a French week to commemorate the death of the Prince Imperial. Vistors can participate in the pilgrimage through the battlefields towards the monument honoring the Prince Imperial at uQweqwe, in Jojosini valley.
In 2014, the festivities included art exhibitions, wine tasting, a concert, a fun run, receptions. A requiem mass was also said in liaison with the Imperial Chapel in Biarritz, France.
The Ambassador took the opportunity during her stay to visit the French Augustinian sisters.
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- Commémoration de la "route Napoléon"
- Oeuvre de Paul Jamin - Avec l’aimable autorisation du Voortrekker/Msunduzi Museum