|A relation of Prince Felice Bacciochi, the husband of the first Napoleon’s eldest sister Elisa (Grand Duchess of Tuscany 1809-1814), Count Félix Bacciochi was therefore a distant cousin of Napoleon III, and after the restoration became his social secretary and a Court chamberlain.
After the fall of the Second Empire, the Tuileries papers were published in instalments, to expose the extravagance, corruption and decay that had permeated the government and the Imperial household. Among many other revelations, which everyone had suspected anyway, these private papers showed that Count Bacciochi had acted as Napoleon III’s personal pimp, facilitating his extra-marital affairs and procuring many of the Emperor’s more fleeting amorous encounters.
A story went round that King Victor Emanuel of Italy when visiting Paris was once obliged to attend a performance at the Opera. Indicating a young member of the corps de ballet he whispered in Napoleon III’s ear, ‘How much would that little girl cost?’ ‘I’ve no idea,’ replied the Emperor, ‘ask Bacciochi.’ ‘Sire’ said Bacciochi promptly, ‘for Your Majesty, five thousand francs.’ ‘That’s damn dear,’ said the King. ‘Never mind,’ said Napoleon turning to Bacciochi, ‘put it down on my account.’
[Not to be confused with the young Count Bacciochi who became the Empress Eugenie’s secretary in her final years at Farnborough Hill.]
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