Lucien, 3rd Prince Murat

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Lucien Murat
Prince of Pontecorvo
Reign5 December 1812 – 25 May 1815
PredecessorJean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte
SuccessorPrincipality abolished
Prince Murat
Tenure15 April 1847 – 10 April 1878
PredecessorPrince Achille
SuccessorPrince Joachim
BornLucien Charles Joseph Napoléon Murat
(1803-05-16)16 May 1803
Milan, Italy
Died10 April 1878(1878-04-10) (aged 74)
Paris, France
Caroline Georgina Fraser
(m. 1831; his death 1878)
IssueCaroline, Baroness de Chassiron
Joachim, Prince Murat
Anne, Duchess of Mouchy
Prince Achille Murat
Prince Louis Murat
FatherJoachim Murat
MotherCaroline Bonaparte

Lucien Charles Joseph Napoléon, Prince Français, Prince of Naples, 2nd Prince de Pontecorvo, 3rd Prince Murat (16 May 1803 – 10 April 1878) was a French politician, and the sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo between 1812 and May 1815.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Lucien with his brother (in uniform), sisters and mother Caroline Bonaparte, c. 1809-10.
Lucien Murat, Prince of Naples, 1811

Lucien Charles Joseph Napoléon was born on 16 May 1803 in Milan. He was the second son of four children of Joachim Murat, the 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg and King of Naples, and his Queen consort Caroline Bonaparte. His siblings included Achille, 2nd Prince Murat (who married the American widow, Catherine Daingerfield Willis, a great-grandniece of President George Washington),[3] Princess Marie Letizia Murat (who married Guido Taddeo Pepoli, Marchese Pepoli, Conte di Castiglione), and Princess Louise Julie Murat (who married Giulio Conte Rasponi).[4]

His maternal grandparents were Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino and his maternal uncles included Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon I of France, Lucien Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte and Jérôme Bonaparte. His maternal aunts included Elisa Bonaparte and Pauline Bonaparte. His paternal grandparents were Pierre Murat-Jordy, an affluent innkeeper and postmaster, and the former Jeanne Loubières.[4]

Life in exile[edit]

Murat had to flee the Italian Peninsula after his father's execution, which had been ordered by Ferdinand IV of Naples. Between 1815 and 1822 he and his older brother Prince Achille Murat received a solid education at Castle Frohsdorf in the Austrian Empire. He later went to Venice, where he was pursued by the Austrian authorities, necessitating his departure to the United States where his elder brother Prince Achille Murat had already moved (becoming a naturalized citizen sometime after July 1828 and dropping his European titles).[5]

En route to America, he was shipwrecked in Spain and captured by the Spanish, compelling him to remain there for many months until his brother secured assistance from the American President James Monroe for his release. He finally arrived in the United States in April 1825. He traveled to Philadelphia to meet his maternal uncle Joseph (the former King of Spain) and from there traveled extensively in the western part of the country, as well as Texas and California. While in the U.S., he married an American and had several children.[5] After several years of financial difficulty, he opened a girls boarding school with his wife.[6]

On his many travels to France, Murat sought in 1838 and 1844 the possibility to reclaim his family's right to the throne, which his elder brother had abandoned. In France he was always only allowed to stay 5 weeks at a time.[5]

Settlement in France[edit]

He continued to live in the United States, staying in daily correspondence with his backers, until the fall of Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. He returned to France with his wife and son and was elected a member of the constituent assembly.[7] In 1849, he was appointed as Minister for Turin. In 1852, he received the status of senator and the title of prince.[5]

In 1861, he tried to regain the throne of Naples, and composed a manifesto to support his claim and was referred to by The New York Times as "the fat pretender to the throne of Naples".[8] This was not well received by his maternal first cousin Napoleon III of France and Murat abandoned hopes of regaining the crown.[5]

During the Franco-Prussian War, after the French defeat at the Siege of Metz in 1870, Murat was imprisoned with Marshal of France François Achille Bazaine. After the fall of the Second French Empire, Murat moved back to United States for a short time where he resumed his business interests,[5] including grist mills and saw mills near Evans Mills, Jefferson County, New York.[9]

Personal life[edit]

His second son, Prince Achille Murat (1847–95), with his wife, Princess Salome Dadiani

On 18 August 1831 Murat married Caroline Georgina Fraser (1810–1879) in Bordentown, New Jersey. Caroline, a Protestant, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, daughter of Thomas Fraser, a Scottish emigrant to the United States and major in the Loyalist militia during the American Revolution, and his wife Ann Loughton (née Smith) Fraser.[5] Together, they lived in Bordentown for several years,[10] and were the parents of:[6]

Napoléon Lucien Murat died on 10 April 1878 in Paris.[6] His wife died shortly after him on 10 February 1879 in their Paris apartment, 80 boulevard Malesherbes, 8th arrondissement.[citation needed]


Through his son Joachim, he was a grandfather of Joachim, 5th Prince Murat, a celebrated sportsman and race horse owner who married Marie Cécile Ney d'Elchingen, a daughter of the Prince de la Moskowa and a great-granddaughter of the Marshal Michel Ney. In 1919, Prince Murat gave his Paris house on the rue de Monceau to President Woodrow Wilson for his use while in Paris for the Paris Peace Conference. He died at the family estate, Château de Chambly in Oise.[14]

Through his daughter Princess Anne, he is a direct ancestor of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria (b. 1954) and Michel, 14th Prince of Ligne (b. 1951).[citation needed]

Through his son Prince Achille Murat, he was a grandfather of Lucien-Charles-David-Napoléon Murat, Prince Murat (1870–1933), who married Marie Augustine de Rohan-Chabot,[15] a daughter of Alain de Rohan-Chabot, Duke of Rohan.[16] Her older sister, Marie-Joséphine de Rohan-Chabot, was the wife of Louis de Talleyrand-Périgord (grandson of Louis de Talleyrand-Périgord and nephew of Boson de Talleyrand-Périgord).[17] After Prince Murat's death in 1933, his widow married French writer and diplomat Count Charles de Chambrun.[18]

Through his youngest son, Prince Louis, he was a grandfather of two boys, the elder being Prince Eugéne Michel Napoléon Murat (1875–1906), who married a daughter of the Duke of Elchingen, with whom he had three children. Prince Eugéne died in an automobile accident while on his way to Karlsbad.[13] The younger was Prince Michel Anne Charles Joachim Napoléon Murat (1887–1941), who married Helena MacDonald Stallo, heiress to the Standard Oil fortune, in 1913.[19] Through his grandson Prince Michel, he was a great-grandfather of Princess Laure Louise Napoléone Eugénie Caroline Murat, who married Swiss-American journalist Fernand Auberjonois, parents of his great-great-grandson, actor René Auberjonois (1940–2019).[20]


  1. ^ Pontecorvo – website World
  2. ^ Napoleonic Titles and Heraldry: "Sovereign" Princes – website Heraldica
  3. ^ Glenn, Justin (2014). The Washingtons: A Family History: Volume 1: Seven Generations of the Presidential Branch. Savas Publishing. p. 1789. ISBN 978-1-940669-26-7.
  4. ^ a b Phipps, Ramsey Weston (1926). The Armies of the First French Republic: And the Rise of the Marshals of Napoleon I. 1. Oxford University Press, H. Milford. pp. 146–147.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Macartney, Clarence Edward; Dorrance, Gordon (1939). "The Bonapartes in America". Philadelphia: Dorrance and Company.
  6. ^ a b c "Obituary.; Prince Murat". The New York Times. 12 April 1878. p. 4.
  7. ^ a b "PRINCE MURAT IS DEAD Was Born in New Jersey in 1834--His Mother Was An American" (PDF). The New York Times. 24 October 1901.
  8. ^ "AFFAIRS IN FRANCE; The Difficulties among the Free Masons Prince Lucien Murat and his Proceedings The Election of Prince Napoleon as Grand Master". The New York Times. 17 June 1861.
  9. ^ "Prince Murat". The New York Times. 21 April 1878.
  10. ^ "PRINCE MURAT A "BEAT"; Sued in New-Jersey on Many of His Household Accounts. ROYAL ENTERTAINMENT FOR LAWYERS The Son of the King of Naples Was a Remarkable Figure in the History of Burlington County, N.J." The New York Times. 22 December 1895.
  11. ^ Holland, Josiah Gilbert; Gilder, Richard Watson (1881). "Bordentown and the Bonapartes". The Century: A Popular Quarterly. Scribner & Company; The Century Company: 41.
  12. ^ a b "Prince Murat a Suicide". The New York Times. 4 March 1895.
  13. ^ a b "AUTO KILLS PRINCE MURAT.; His Grandfather Lived in Bordentown and Married an American". The New York Times. 27 July 1906.
  14. ^ "PRINCE MURAT, HEAD OF HIS HOUSE, DEAD; Great-Grandson of a Marshal of France and Napoleon's Sister, Caroline. NOTED AS A SPORTSMAN His Home in Paris Used by President Wilson--Kin Was Husband of Washington's Niece". The New York Times. 3 November 1932.
  15. ^ "Widow of Prince Murat". The New York Times. 11 October 1951.
  16. ^ "PRINCE LUCIEN MURAT DIES IN EXILE AT 63; Russian Refugee in Morocco Descendant of One-Time King of Naples". The New York Times. 21 December 1933.
  17. ^ "PRINCESS OPENS A SHOP.; Duke de Rohan's Sister to Sell Books and Serve Tea". The New York Times. 18 April 1926.
  18. ^ "PRINCESS MURAT WED TO DIPLOMAT; Widow of Prince Lucien Is Bride in Rome of Count Charles de Chambrun". The New York Times. 23 November 1934.
  19. ^ TIMES, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK (2 April 1932). "PRINCESS MURAT IS DEAD IN PARIS; Former Helena MacDonald Stallo of Cincinnati--Heiress of Standard Oil Executive". The New York Times.
  20. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (8 December 2019). "René Auberjonois, a 'Deep Space Nine' Star, Dies at 79". The New York Times.

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Title last held by
Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte
Prince of Pontecorvo
Principality abolished
French nobility
of the First French Empire
New creation Prince of Pontecorvo
As title of pretence

Succeeded by
Joachim Murat
Preceded by
Achille Murat
Prince Murat