Eugenie, Marie de Montijo de Guzman, was born in Andalusia in 1826. Her father was a Napoleonist, and her mother was of an old Scottish family. She lived in different capitals of Europe, and at Paris her horsemanship and her constant attendance at Court fetes attracted the attention of Napoleon III., who married her in 1853. In the early part of the Empire she was popular for her kindness and her benevolence, and had great influence in State Councils. After the downfall of the Empire she escaped to England, thus avoiding the risk of meeting the same fate as Marie Antoinette, which she is said to have feared. The death of her husband, and the tragic fate of her only son in Zululand, and her friendship with Queen Victoria, have caused Englishmen to look upon her as almost a fellow-countrywoman.