I recently mentioned the sword worn by the Prince Imperial when he was killed by Zulus whilst serving as British Officer in 1879. I wondered where it was and as the legend was that it was Napoleon’s sword that he had worn at Austerlitz it was relevant to this site.
The truth is sadly more prosaic. My French connections have established that the sword he was wearing was a French service sword ( type 1818 – 1852 ) and is located in the Château of Fontainebleau .
The Emperor Napoleon had the Austerlitz sword at his death in 1821 and General Bertrand brought it back surreptitiously from St Helena to France to give to the family.
He was stopped by Prince von Metternich . The sword was handed – over to King Louis-Philippe and on his death in 1824 it was placed in the Army Museum ( Les Invalides ) .
The image is the famous bronze statue of the Prince Imperial which was erected at the RMA Woolwich where he had been a gentleman cadet.
It was the custom in my time at Sandhurst to have photographs taken wearing bits of one’s officers uniform just before one passed out.