Two hundred years after the Battle of Waterloo – level 3

27-03-2015 15:00

The hat which French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte wore during the Battle of Waterloo is on its way back to the battlefield which saw his demise.

The two-cornered, or bicorne hat, is normally kept in a museum in Sens in east of Paris.

It was the one Napoleon wore on June 18th, 1815 when he was defeated by the British forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington and General Von Blücher’s Prussian army.

Specialised transporters prepared tailor-made boxes to take the precious hat to Wellington Museum in the Belgian town of Waterloo where it will stay for four months.

“This one is the last one he wore because it’s the one he had during the Battle of Waterloo. And, as it was a rainy day, it changed its shape and you can still see traces on the front of raindrops which tell us about the rain which was falling from the Belgian sky.”

One of the emperor’s uniforms was also sent to Waterloo ahead of the bicentenary commemorations.

Napoleon, initially defeated in 1813, had escaped exile in the Mediterranean island of Elba and returned to power for a period now called the Hundred Days. After Waterloo, he was confined on the Atlantic island of Saint Helena until his death in 1821.

Difficult words: demise (failure), trace (a small sign of something), bicentenary (the day or year exactly 200 years after an important event), confine (to imprison).



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