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Napoleon III escaped to England after a failed coup in 1840, and in 1847 took the lease on 1C King Street, transforming it into a tribute to his famous family, installing a portrait of Napoleon I by Delaroche and uniforms worn by his uncle in the large first floor drawing room. He became an honourary member of some of London’s most exclusive clubs, and had an affair with heiress Harriet Howard, who funded his return to France. 


After the fall of the Bourbon monarchy in 1848, Napoleon III returned to France and was elected president a year later. He reportedly left his London home in haste, as there was still bath water in his tub, and his bed was unmade. 

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