From 1870 the French flag flew above Camden Place as it became home to the Napoleonic Imperial family and a base for the French Court in exile.
The Empress Eugénie and Louis, the Prince Imperial arrived at Chislehurst on 24th September 1870. Napoleon III joined them on 20th March 1871 after being released from house arrest in Belgium.
During this time, they received regular visits from Queen Victoria, European Royalty and leading politicians.
Napoleon lll died at Camden Place on 9th January 1873 and was buried at St Mary’s Church after a funeral procession of over 20,000 mourners.
On a happier note Chislehurst fêted the 18th and 21st birthdays of the popular Prince Imperial.
Tragically, hopes of him becoming Napoleon lV were dashed when he was killed in Zululand in 1879 serving in British uniform. Chislehurst became host to yet another huge royal funeral to which 40,000 mourners attended.
The Empress Eugénie continued to live at Camden Place until she moved to Farnborough in 1881.
Eugénie passed away on 11th July 1920.