Born Princess Charlotte of Belgium, she married Archduke Maximillian Habsburg. Napoleon III tapped Maximillian to open an imperial outpost in the Western Hemisphere, in Mexico, while the USA was distracted in the most costly of its recurring bouts with racism - the Civil War. The Mexican people were not enthusiastic about these exotic French imports. The Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862 (Cinco de Mayo) showed the way when the French were defeated. The now-famous Legion Etrangerre was brought in to prop up Maximillian, Saigon in Mexio. The Foreign Legion had a defining moment in the Battle of Camarón where they fought valiantly, but unsuccessfully. The wooden hand of the legion detachment's commanding officer, Capt. Jean Danjou, was recovered and is a cherished Foreign Legion relic defining the never-give-up ethos of the Legion. At the end of the USA Civil War, the USA enforced the Monroe Doctrine (sort of "This is our hemisphere to mess around with - everybody else stay out"). USA Army troops were sent to the Mexican border and Napoleon III could not support his outpost in Mexico against what was then the most battle-tested army in the world supported by a naval buildup. Carlota went to Europe to try and drum up support while Maximilian stayed behind. Maximilian was caught and executed by firing squad and Carlota subsequently went insane.
This album will become a subalbum in an album about early Victorian dress (1837-1870).
Carlota was undoubtedly a great beauty and a superb dresser, as can be seen here.