...introduction to Lord Chelmsford from the Commander in Chief, the Duke of Cambridge and of
The Prince joined Chelmsford's staff in a nominal manner and where he quickly won over all he
met while at the same time an certain natural authority came to the fore, a trait that would in
effect leave him in command of a reconnaissance patrol soon after.
On 1 June, the Prince set out on patrol with a group of six mounted volunteers under the
assumed command of Lieutenant Carey of the 98th Foot. The patrol was to be reinforced by
additional mounted Basutos but when the former failed to appear at the appointed rendezvous site
it proceeded on without them. The patrol moved on and took rest at a deserted Zulu kraal in the
early afternoon. Unbeknown to the members of the patrol a party of Zulus had been quietly
approaching their resting place and as the patrol mounted to begin their return trip to camp the
Zulus burst out of the long grass and scattered the surprised troopers.
The Prince attempted to mount his spooked horse but fell when the
saddle's holster strap to which he holding gave way. Pursued by some
dozen Zulus he gained his feet and turned to face the onrushing
warriors. Defending himself with his revolver an opponent's assigai
he fought "like a lion at bay" until he fell under the weight of his
Thus the last aspirations of the Bonapartist party to the imperial
throne of France ended in a donga near the Itshotshosi River in
|Napoleon Eugene Louis Joseph
Bonaparte, The Prince Imperial
from The South African
Campaign of 1879
London Stereoscopic Company,
Today the Prince rests in St Michael's Abbey Church, Farnborough while his effigy - dressed in the
patrol uniform of the Royal Artillery - resides at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Chislehurst - a
strange fate for the descendant and namesake of one of Britain's greatest enemies.
The following items reflect the Prince's brief and completely unofficial career in the British Army.
|Napoleon Eugene Louis
Principe Imperial of France
The last portrait taken
in Natal on the eve of
his leaving for the war.
Company, London, England
A page from the Duke of Cambridge's guest or
calling book bearing the signature of the Prince
An oval die-cut photograph of the Prince Imperial
wearing his cadets uniform from the Royal
Military Academy, Woolwich.
Long after the Prince's death
he still found a place in the
public imagination. This is
reflected even in popular
"The Prince Imperial Gallop
De Luxe Music Company
Broadway & 28th Street
New York, New York