Saturday, May 26, 2012

King of Italy

‘Upon the 11th of April, Napoleon, with his Empress, set off to go through the form of coronation, as King of Italy!  The ceremony almost exactly resembled that by which he had been inaugurated Emperor.  The ministry of the Pope, however, was not employed on this second occasion, although, as Pius VII was then on his return from Rome, he could scarcely have declined officiating, if he had been requested by Buonaparte to take Milan in his route for that purpose…the ministry of the Archbishop of Milan was held sufficient for the occasion, and it was he who blessed the celebrated iron crown, said to have girded the brows of the ancient Kings of the Lombards.  Buonaparte,  as in the ceremony at Paris, placed the ancient emblem on his head with his own hands, assuming and repeating aloud the haughty motto attached to it by its ancient owners, Dieu me l’a donne; Gare qui la touché.  “God has given it me; Let himbeware, who touches it.”…’

From Scott’s “Life of Napoleon”.  Napoleon’s coronation as King of Italy took place on May 26, 1805.

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