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Julie Clary

Julie Clary
Comtesse de Survilliers
Julie Clary and her daughters
Queen consort of Spain and the Indies
Tenure 8 June 1808 – 11 December 1813
Queen consort of Naples and Sicily
Tenure 30 March 1806 – 6 June 1808
Born 26 December 1771
Marseille, France
Died 7 April 1845(1845-04-07) (aged 73)
Florence, Tuscany
Spouse Joseph Bonaparte
Issue Julie Joséphine Bonaparte
Zénaïde Laetitia Julie Bonaparte
Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte
Full name
Marie Julie Bonaparte (née Clary)
House House of Bonaparte
Father François Clary
Mother Françoise Rose Somis
Religion Roman Catholicism

Marie Julie Clary (26 December 1771 – 7 April 1845) was Queen consort of Spain and the Indies, Naples and Sicily as the spouse of Joseph Bonaparte, who was King of Naples and Sicily from January 1806 to June 1808, and later King of Spain and the Spanish West Indies from 25 June 1808 to June 1813.


  • Background 1
  • Marriage 2
  • Queen 3
  • After the fall of Napoleon 4
  • Later life 5
  • Children 6
  • Ancestry 7
  • References 8


Marie Julie Clary was born in Marseille, France, the daughter of François Clary (Marseille, St Ferreol, 24 February 1725 – Marseille, 20 January 1794), a wealthy silk manufacturer and merchant of Irish heritage, and his second wife (married on 26 June 1759) Françoise Rose Somis (Marseille, St. Ferreol, 30 August 1737 – Paris, 28 January 1815). Her sister Désirée Clary, six years younger, became Queen of Sweden and Norway when her husband, Marshal Bernadotte, was crowned King Charles XIV John of Sweden (Charles III John of Norway). Their brother, Nicholas Joseph Clary, was created 1st Comte Clary and married Anne Jeanne Rouyer (their granddaughter would be the first wife of Joachim, 4th Prince Murat).


On 1 August 1794, at Cuges (Bouches-du-Rhône department), she married Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoléon Bonaparte.


In 1806, her spouse was made King of Naples, thereby making her Queen of Naples. In 1808, Joseph was made King of Spain and Julie became Queen of Spain. However, she never lived there, preferring Mortefontaine, Oise. She was kept informed from Vichy and Plombières about her husband's adulterous relationships.

After the fall of Napoleon

After the defeat of Napoleon's army at the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813 and the entry of allied troops in Paris in 1814, Julie bought the castle of Prangins in Switzerland, near Lake Léman.

After the Battle of Waterloo and the second downfall of Napoleon, Joseph bought a property in the State of New Jersey near the River Delaware, with the proceeds of the sale of Spanish paintings taken from ransacked Madrid palaces, castles, monasteries and town halls. In 1816, her sister Desiree, who was Crown Princess of Sweden, wished to bring Julie with her upon her return to Sweden; her husband, however, thought this unwise, as Julie was a member of the Bonaparte family and her presence might be taken as a sign that he sided with the deposed Napoleon, and in the end, this came to nothing.[1]

Later life

Arms of Julie Clary as Queen Consort of Spain.

Julie went with her daughters to Frankfurt, where she stayed for six years, separated from her French-American husband. She later settled in Brussels and then in Florence, Italy, at the Serristori Palace. She did not socialize with the French people. She was described as charming, quiet, dignified and peaceful and generally well liked. During this period, she parted with her sister Desiree, who, as the Queen of Sweden, moved to Sweden. In 1840, Joseph joined Julie in Florence. In spite of his adultery, she referred to Joseph as "my beloved husband".

Joseph Bonaparte died on 28 July 1844, aged 76. Julie died eight months later in Florence, on 7 April 1845, at the age of seventy-three. They were buried side by side at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. 17 years later, in 1862, the self-proclaimed French Emperor Napoleon III brought Joseph Bonaparte's remains back to France and had them inhumed to the right of his younger brother, the Emperor Napoleon I. The remains of Julie are still at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence beside those of her daughter, Charlotte, who died in Lucca, in Italy, on 3 March 1839, aged 37, giving birth to a stillborn child.


Joseph and Julie Bonaparte had three daughters:



  1. ^   (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  • Manuel Ríos Mazcarelle. Reinas de España, Casa de Borbón, I, Alderabán, El legado de la historia, Madrid, 1999. 1ª edición, ISBN 84-88676-57-3, 291 pages, (Spanish).
Julie Clary
Born: 26 December 1771 Died: 7 April 1845
Royal titles
Preceded by
Marie Caroline of Austria
Queen consort of Naples and Sicily
Succeeded by
Caroline Bonaparte
Preceded by
Maria Luisa of Parma
Queen consort of Spain and the Indies
Succeeded by
Maria Isabel of Portugal
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