Vrienden van vroeger: De Franse invloed op de vorming van het vorstelijk hof van Lodewijk Napoleon, koning van Holland

Translated title of the contribution: Time-honoured friends: French influence on the formation of the princely court of Louis Bonaparte, king of Holland

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


In 1806, at Napoleon's behest, Louis Bonaparte suddenly became the foreign king of a former republic. Confronted with the problem of finding competent and trustworthy senior court dignitaries in this alien environment, he initially resorted to appointing French friends and confidants. Louis' choice was far from unique: his crowned relatives elsewhere, by necessity, opted for the same solution. This article reconstructs the early household composed by Louis and compares it to the households in the other satellite states. The juxtaposition
not only highlights Napoleon's constant interference in nominations, but also reveals some inconsistencies in the Emperor's attitude. In addition, it emphasizes the marked impact of local conditions. Contrary to the situation in the other Napoleonic kingdoms, no Frenchmen entered the government posts in Holland, yet they dominated in senior court office. The comparison also helps to explain the remarkably rapid disappearance of French court dignitaries from Holland, prompting the ‘Dutchification' of the king's entourage familiar from earlier historiography.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)345-374
Number of pages30
JournalTijdschrift voor geschiedenis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2019


  • Louis Bonaparte
  • Kingdom of Holland (1806-1810)
  • Court History
  • Royal court
  • Napoleonic Era

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