“The Royal Eagle”


"A royal lady bewail'd her sad fate" near Vienna. "My Eagle, she cried, now lies in St Helena." She recalls how he left her, and his exploits and says she will look for help to rescue him. "If I cannot find him, I'll fly to old Erin."


Marie Louise of Austria (1791-1847) is Napoleon's second wife and mother of Napoleon II. She returned to Vienna in 1814 when Napoleon is defeated. (source: "Marie Louise of Austria" at Answres.com site) - BS

This song shares with "Saint Helena (Boney on the Isle of St. Helena)" and "The New Bunch of Loughero" the theme of Marie Louisa's grief for her husband. This is romantic, but false; she refused to go into exile with him to Elba, let alone St. Helena.

In fact, even before Napoleon went to Elba, she is reported to have taken General Adam Adelbert Neipperg as a lover. When he came back during the Hundred Days, she not only refused to join him, she wouldn't even allow him to see his son. By the time Napoleon died, Louisa had borne two children to other fathers. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1815 - Defeat at the Battle of Waterloo forces Napoleon into exile
  • 1821 - Death of Napoleon

Cross references


  1. Zimmermann 31, "The Royal Eagle" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Moylan 203, "The Royal Eagle" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BI, Zimm031


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c.1830 (Zimmermann)
Keywords: Napoleon love political