Prince Murat, 8th Murat prince and current chief of House Murat, evoques, as an introduction to this website, the flamboyant, majestic and fascinating personality of his ancestor, the Great MURAT :
« Italians, the time has come where great destinies must be fulfilled. Providence calls you towards liberty. A shout can be heard from the Alps to the strait of Scylla. And this shout is that of the Independence of Italy. Italians, unite, and may a government of your choice, a consitution worthy of this century as well as of yourselves, protect your liberty and your properties ».
Who is the visionary author of this magic call ? It is Joachim Murat King of Naples in his Rimini proclamation of March 30th, 1815, in which he dreamt of a unified and independent Italy… The hero, the mythical winner of the Aboukir, Iena, Eylau or Moskowa battles, the commander of Austerlitz Great Army’s left wing, the « God of cavalry », the « Idol of the Army », who collects the exploits of a modern times’ crusader, he is the same man : Murat.
He who the 13 Vendémiaire allowed Bonaparte to break the royalist insurrection with the cannons of the Plaine des Sablons, which marked the beginning of the rise to power of his soon-to-be brother-in-law, he who, by saving the day of the 18 Brumaire with his audacious action gave Bonaparte the keys to power… Without him, no Consulate, no Empire, not even the man himself.
The Great Duke of Berg and Clèves who reorganized and modernized his part of Germany with Düsseldorf as capital city, is the same paladin, as Napoleon would describe him. This King of Naples and of the Two Sicilies freed Capri from the English, from Hudson Lowe, Napoleon’s future prison gard, and administrated remarkably well the kingdom of Naples, liberating it from feudalism by developing its economy, sanitizing and pacifying its provinces, enriching art and culture, promoting the civil code, and fighting against illiteracy as a means to « erradicate poverty », as would do years later his nephew the Emperor Napoleon III. He improved the routes of communication by fighting against robbery in Calabria. Such an enlightened sovereign pioneer is still him… Husband of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon 1st’s sister, him as well… Always him… This « founder of epics », as described by Jean Tulard, is thus a great man of uncountable facets.
Marshall and Grand Admiral of France, prince of the Empire and of the imperial family, the Great Duke of Berg and Clèves, King of Naples and the Two Sicilies, member of the imperial family. To underline, and shed a light on Murat’s true dimension, as well as on his flamboyant life of multiple splendours, his shakesperian and romantic accents, in the core of the Empire itself or the human disputing the superhuman, let us listen again to Jean Tulard’s words :
« nationalism and independence, these words resurrected in Valmy, bury philosophers of the Enlightenment as well as enlightened tyrants. Murat probably listened to them and understood them before Napoleon, who would echo them (his words could have even first been pronounced by Las Cases) only too late in Saint Hélène. It is thus the « sabre man » who had in mind a Europe of Nations that could have been more solid than the Great Empire and that could have avoided the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848. Of his two uncles, Napoleon 1st and Murat, it is from the latter that Napoleon III is the true heir. If Murat would have won in 1814 and 1815, the face of Europe would have changed. It’s unity would only be broken by force, it could only have succeeded with the solidarity of its states. This is the path that Murat preached in Naples, as he defended the conception of a Great Empire based on federal ties, and not on the authority of a single man. Defamated by Napoleon, shot by order of an inconsiderate tyrant, Murat dies, let us dare to say, as a Martyr of Europe… »
« First Martyr of the Italian Unity » as would highlight professor Luigi Mascilli Migliorini. Such is the authentic, the outstanding measure, the vast calibre of Murat, « the King of the Braves and the bravest of Kings », as Garibaldi declared. So, how not to be surprised by his descendants’ brilliant alliances with the world’s elite, as proven by those of his heads of the house… His eldest son Achille married George Washington’s great-niece, his grandson Joachim married Marshall Berthier’s daughter, prince of Wagram, himself related to a princess of Bavaria, a Wittelsbach, direct descendant of Saint Louis… His great-grandson
Joachim married the descendant of Marshall Ney, Prince of the Moskowa ; many more examples abound within the family members. Alliances with the Royal Family of France, with the princes Hohenzollern, etc. Thus continues the legend of Murat. Made of wealth, generosity, profoundness, passion, courage, and wit , with a halo of greatness. Let us give him back the legitimate framework that is his : that of eternity »