Bicentenary
1821 – 2021

Program of ceremonies on Saint Helena

Bicentenary of the death of Emperor Napoleon

For the week of the commemoration of the Emperor’s death on St. Helena, we are planning:

5 May 2021

At Longwood’s house, from 5:15 p. m.
The exact moment of the bicentenary of the Emperor’s death will be marked at Longwood House as follows:

– 17h15 Opening of the gardens (the house will be closed for this event)
– 17h30 Background music in the gardens
– 17h48 “La Sonnerie aux morts” followed by a minute’s silence
– 17h49 Last Post, lowering the flag to Half-mast
– 17:51 Continued:  

– Reading of Napoleon’s death in Bertrand’s Cahiers.
– Music
– Letter from Montholon announcing to Lowe the death of Napoleon
– Night visit of the gardens under floodlights  

Note: the house will be closed to visitors during the ceremony and the evening garden visit as was the case in 1821 when, with the exception of two doctors sent by Hudson Lowe, no one was admitted until the following morning.

6 May 2021

At 9 am a Catholic Church mass at Longwood House, followed, by a ceremony, at the Tomb commencing at 10:45 am

The conduct of this ceremony will be determined according to whether or not crews from the Royal Navy or the French Navy are present. 

– Music
– Intervention of the Catholic priest of the island
– Wreath laying (with announcement, as at Les Invalides)
– “To the dead! »
– Minute of silence
– First sentence of “To the Dead! »
– La Marseillaise launched by a singer – the audience may join in
– Invitation to the public to descend around the Tomb

9 May 2021

At the Tomb, a ceremony to mark the bicentenary of the Emperor’s burial, a special day will be organized at the Tomb by Saint Helena Napoleonic Heritage. By then, most European visitors will have left the island.

Longwood House will be open for visit after the ceremony. A “general public” exhibition to resume the years of Exile will be presented in the General Quarter.