25 thoughts on “WCW: Empress Eugénie

  1. Looking at these pics, this is now on my shortlist!

    I’ve seen the 1938 movie “Suez”. It was . . . eh to me.

  2. I wish there were more recent pieces about her! It seems like for a long time there were lots and then nothing for 20 years, and now nothing for 43 years! It would be interesting to see something about a monarch we don’t see as much on screen

  3. She also appears in the austrian, german and italian television movie “Sisi” from 2009. Her character is played by hungarian actress Andrea Osvárt, but i think she only has brief appearance at a ball.

    1. There’s a story about Sisi and Eugenie. Both women were famous beauties and a courtier claimed to have accidentally seen them comparing their legs which he called a pretty sight. It’s possible. Elisabeth was keenly interested in other women’s beauty and everybody else was comparing the two royal beauties, why wouldn’t they compare themselves in private?

  4. Wow, I had no idea she was in so many movies. I definitely also want to see that Suez one.

    Song of Bernadette was a childhood favorite, and probably still an adult one although I haven’t watched it in a while. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes, as that apparition is known, weren’t known much outside of France until the book and the movie. Eugenie does have a smaller role (maybe 2 scenes?), but rather pivotal: not only do church leaders doubt Bernadette, but local authorities are highly opposed to religion and the popular religious devotion her apparitions are inspiring, so they try to shut the whole thing down, intimidate her, etc. But part of the story is that Mary(, the Blessed Virgin) causes a spring to bubble up where she appears, and several people experience miraculous cures. Eugenie is fearful for her child’s life (don’t know if she’s upset or happy in that screen cap) and sends someone to get the Lourdes water. Her ladies’ maid or lady in waiting is arrested, and pays the fines for herself and everyone else. The child recovers, and it takes some pressure off poor Bernadette.

  5. I have a lot of respect for Eugenie. She lost everything, throne, husband and most tragically her only child but she not only survived she was active and interested in life to the very end. The woman had guys as well as fashion sense.

  6. Saying the couple lived the rest of his life in exile is a bit misleading: In Louis Napoléon case, the rest of his life was VERY short, since he died merely two years later. Eugenie lived till 1920.

  7. I recently stayed at the Cairo Marriott which includes, as its central block, the Gazira Palace, which was built for the Eugenie to have a nice hotel to stay in for the opening of the Suez Canal.

    1. There’s a famous, in Egyptological circles, story of a weary Eugenie after a stiff climb to the newly discovered tomb of Yuya and Tuya in 1905, sinking into a convenient chair – to everybody’s horror as it was in fact a three thousand year old throne just removed from the tomb. It did not collapse, thank goodness!

  8. Myrna Loy needs a WCW…she was so stunning and in many period pieces, though they made her play quasi-Asian-type roles early one, due to her “slanted” eyes. But she was wonderful in everything. And almost as beautiful as Tyrone Power when starring with him :)

  9. Few fun facts about her ^^ :
    -initially, Louis Napoleon planned to bed her, not to marry her ( he wanted to marry a princess to assess his imperial legitimity, and she was rumored to be quite… promiscuous ( slanders, but anyway)). He asked her “What’s the way for your bedroom?” “Through the chapel”, she answered.
    -she had a special lift for her clothes atthe Palais des Tuileries
    -She was nicknamed La Fée Chiffon ( The CLothes Fairy) because of her love of fashion
    -She once said “I wanted to be an actress… But I was unlucky and became an empress instead”
    -During her delivery, her hips were broken by the forceps, which made intercourse impossible. Napoleon was never a faithful husband, but she didn’t mind… As long as he was discreet. Once she learned he had a photo of his latest fling on his desk; she stormed in his office, broke it and coldly said: “From now on, you’ll have to be content with the original!”
    -Also about one oh her husband’s mistresses, the Italian spy and fashionista Countess of Castiglione: once, at a masked ball, the countess had a Queen of Heart costume; seeing her, Eugenie said coldly “Her heart is a little bit low, isn’t it?” ( she had an embroidered heart at crotch level)

    1. She also was good friends with Queen Victoria, who later took her in when she was in exile. Victoria had a girl crush on her as she always had a great appreciation for beautiful people of any sex and despite her own faulty fashion sense she adored clothes.

      1. I’ve always thought that one of Victoria’s more charming characteristics: she acknowledged that she herself was no beauty, and she admired beauty and fashion sense in others (operatic stars, Elisabeth of Austria, Eugenie, etc.).

      2. Their friendship is quite touching. Victoria might easily have envied Eugenie’ s height and beauty, Eugenie Victoria’s power and security, but instead they admired each other tremendously and were total BFFs.

        1. I guess Eugenie would have envied Albert’s faithful love to his wife as well, since Napoleon’s love and faithfulness waned as soon as they were married.

    2. My favorite Eugenie story is about a visit to the theatre. During the performance she kicked off her too tight slippers only to be unable to find them, searching with her feet, under her vast skirts. Finally she walked out, stocking feet hidden by her crinoline, leaving a lady in waiting to collect the slippers.

  10. She was also played by Iphigenie Castiglioni (what a name – and what a story behind it!) in The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936). Happened to watch a documentary about the actress’ first husband Camillo Castiglioni today, otherwise I wouldn’t have known. His is another crazy story as only real life can write it!

  11. I really want a biopic about her and Charles Frederick Worth and how they made the House of Worth happen. That would be amazing.

  12. Loretta Young on Anna and the king of Siam??? I think not
    Yet the costumes in Suez are Amazing except loretta hasn’t much screen time and the film is very….meh
    I remember Eugenie was in some Bernadette’s film in the 1980’s and reading that 2000 LM’s cosette played her in 2003
    Iphigenie Castiglioni played her a couple of times in the 1930’s
    Amparo Rivelles played her in a 1944 biopic film
    There was an Eugenie in Aquellos Años (1972) about the Mexican revolution
    As in the Mexican Soap opera El vuelo del aguila (1994) but she didn’t talk so I can’t find who she was
    Suzanne Bianchetti (Cath the great 1927, Marie Antoinette 1927 1929, Josephine or Marie Louise mme recamier 1924) played her twice in two versions of Violettes Imperiales
    Much of this I know because Eugenie is one of my favorite Historical figures

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