Marriage to Josephine

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Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), born into a prominent white Creole family in Martinique, in 1796. Josephine was the widow of Alexandre de Beauharnais, who was guillotined during the Reign of Terror. The marriage to the older Josephine little pleased Napoleon’s family, and ended when he reluctantly divorced her in 1810 to marry a younger woman who was more likely to produce an heir. He insisted that Josephine retain the title of Empress after their divorce.