The Bee: Napoleon's Emblem of Transformation

Bee pattern on Napoleon's cape and carpetingNapoleon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution, is often associated with various symbols and emblems. One of the well-known symbols linked to Napoleon is the bee.  

Historical legend shows, when Napoleon took up residence in the Royal Palace at Tuileries he refused to spend money on new décor. However, he could not allow the drapery - with its embroidered fleur-de-lis (the French Royal emblem) - to continue to hang in the windows of the palace. His solution was to have the rich and elegant drapes turned upside down. The inverted symbol of the overthrown monarchy looked like a bee. From then on, the tenacious bee became the emblem of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The choice of the new symbols to make a clean break with the monarchy of the Ancient Régime and replace the traditional fleur-de-lis that had been associated with the French monarchy. The choice of symbolism was meant to inspire loyalty, convey a sense of continuity with historical greatness, and establish the legitimacy of his rule. 

The bee motif was prominently featured in Napoleon's coronation robes, furniture, and other imperial regalia. It symbolized his ambition for a stable and industrious French state. We created bee emblem jewelry to represent Napoleon's reign.


bee jewelry set in a antique gold finish

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.