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 and an opponent's assegai he fought "like a lion at bay" until he fell under the weight of his enemies' numbers.
Thus the last aspirations of the Bonapartist party to the imperial throne of France ended in a donga near the Itshotshosi River in Zululand.
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.
Right: A carte de visite in formal civilian dress. As such he represented the continuing claim of the Bonapartist party's to the imperial throne of France,
Carte de Visite
Above: Napoleon Eugene Louis Joseph Bonaparte
Prince Imperial of France
Carte de Visite.
London Stereoscopic Company
Left: An oval die-cut photograph of the Prince Imperial wearing his cadets uniform from the RoyalMilitary Academy, Woolwich.
Left: This page from the Duke of Cambridge's visiting or calling book from 14 February 1879 bears the bold and confidant signature of Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial of France. This entry was made during the
Prince's visit to the Commander-in-Chief when he received permission (27 February) to journey to South Africa soon after the reports of the disaster at Isandlwana had reached England.
In a sense, this document is the Prince's self-signed death warrant.
There are a total of three pages (six sides) in this collection which bear an almost who's who of British society as well as some noted foreign signatories. Just above the Prince's signature is that of the Minister of the United States and his party.
Amongst the many members of the British military who signed these pages are two officers who figured quite prominently in the
Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 - Major General Frederick Marshall who would command the Cavalry Brigade of the Second Division
during the second invasion and that of Major J. C. Russell, 12th Lancers, commander of Natal's mounted volunteer forces.
Calling Book Page
6 1'2 Inches x 15 1/2 Inches
`(6.5cm x 39 cm)
Right: Napoleon Eugene Louis Joseph Bonaparte,
The Prince Imperial of France in the mess-dress uniform of a Royal Artillery lieutenant.
The South African Campaign of 1879
London Stereoscopic Company,