HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, EMPEROR BAO DAI
H.I.M. [Nguyen-Phuoc Thien], Emperor of Annam, Emperor of Vietnam was born at the Palace of Doan-Trang-Vien, Hue on October 22, 1913 (Buyers). He was born, Prince Vinh Thuy. He was the only son of H.M. [Nguyen-Phuoc Buu Dao] Khai-Dinh [Hoang Tong Tuyen Hoang-De], King of Annam, by his second wife, Her Majesty, Empress Dowager Doan-Huy. Bao-Dai was the Last Vietnamese Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. He was also the thirteenth Emperor of Vietnam since the creation of the Nguyen Dynasty by Gia-Long in (1802). The Dynasty lasted till 1945.
His Majesty was appointed as Heir Apparent on March 10, 1922, and invested at the Palace of Can-Chanh, with the style of Dong-Cung Hoang-Thai Tu on May 15 1922. On November 6, 1925 he succeeded after his father's death November 6, 1925. His father was Khai-Dinh. On January 8, 1926, he was crowned at Hue with the title name of Bao Dai (Keeper of the Greatness) (Shenon). He was only 12 years old. While the future Emperor was finishing school in Paris, the French appointed a Regent (one who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign) to manage activities while Bao Dai was away from Vietnam.
He reigned under the Regency of H.H. Ton-Thai Han, until he came of age on September 10, 1932. He soon thereafter proclaimed the independence of the Vietnam Empire (including the reunion of Tonkin) took the title of 13th Emperor of the Nyugen Dynasty on June 18, 1945. He was the first Emperor in Vietnamese to not request that his subjects bow their heads to the floor in his presence (Shenon). His was best known during his reign as an adventure and hunter in the Vietnamese rain forest.
His Imperial Majesty was married on March 20, 1934 in the sacred city of Hue, to a Catholic South Vietnamese girl named Jeanette Nguyen-Huu-Hao (Jeanne Marie-Thérèse (Mariette) Nguyen Huu-Hao Thi Lan - 1914-1963) who later became Her Imperial Majesty Empress Hoang Hau Nam Phuong (Empress of the South) She was born at Saigon, December 1914, the daughter of Pierre Nguyen Huu-Hao, Duke of Long-My. She gave birth to several children including Prince Bao-Long (Crown Prince) and Bao-Thang as well as three daughters including Phuong-Mai (who married Don Pietro Badoglio, 2nd Duke of Addis Ababa and Marquess of Sabotino), Phuong-Lein and Phuong-Dung. The Empress passed away in France on September 15 (19), 1963.
"Bao Dai had four other wives, three of whom he married during his marriage to Nam Phuong: Phu Anh, a cousin, whom he married around 1935; Hoang, a Chinese woman, whom he married in 1946 (one daughter); Bui Mong Diep, whom he married in 1955 (two children); and Monique Baudot, a French citizen whom he married in 1972 and whom he first created Princess Vinh Thuy then renamed Thai Phuong Hoang-Hau." (Vietnam War; Wikipedia)
His children included:
1) H.I.H. Crown Prince (Dong-Cung Hoang-Thai Tir) Bao Long, Head of the Imperial House of Vietnam;
2) H.I.H. Prince (Cong) Bao Thang being born on September 30, 1943 at Dalat;
3) H.I.H. Prince (Cong) Bao was born in 1953 (s/o Bui Mong Diep);
4) H.I.H. Princess (Cong Chua) Phuong Tao [Claire Phuong Tao]. b. before 1936 (d/o Hoang?);.
5) H.I.H. Princess (Cong Chua) Phuong Mai. b. at Dalat on Auguest1, 1937;
6) H.I.H. Princess (Cong Chua) Phuong Lien.who was born at Dalat on November 3, 1938;
7) H.I.H. Princess (Cong Chua) Phuong Dung who was born at the Palace of An Dinh, Hue on February 5, February 1942; and
8) H.I.H. Princess (Cong Chua) Phuong Minh. who was born in 1949 (d/o Bui Mong Diep).
"With Nazi Germany making aggressive moves against France, Emperor
Bao Dai took the opportunity to ask for greater autonomy for his country.
The French realized he was aiming for full independence and used the
outbreak of World War II as an excuse to delay talks. When France was
conquered by Germany the new Vichy government of collaborators dictated
policy to Vietnam. It was the French who allowed the Japanese to use
bases in their territory for their conquest of Southeast Asia. Japan invaded
and promptly declared that they had liberated Vietnam from foreign rule.
Emperor Bao Dai declared the independence of Vietnam, but with the
Japanese in control of the country, little actually changed, control simply
passed from Paris to Tokyo" (Crisp).
During the Second World's War, the Emperor, presented little courage or cunning during the invasion of his country by the Japanese. The Japanese are know to have allowed the Emperor to maintain his position but in March 1945 the Japanese declared Vietnam an independent country. Alas shortly thereafter the Vietnamese Communists under the rule of Ho Chi Minh gained control and declared the region to be the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Shenon). The Emperor abdicate shortly thereafter under force by the Communist Viet Minh on August 25, 1945. Ho Chi Minh had convinced Bao Dai to turn over control of the country to the Viet Minh.
In his abdication of August 1945 he stated (La Republique):
The happiness of the people of Vietnam!
The Independence of Vietnam!
To achieve these ends, we have declared ourself ready for any sacrifice and we desire that our sacrifice be useful to the people.
Considering that the unity of all our compatriots is at this time our country's need, we recalled to our people on August 22: "In this decisive hour of our national history, union means life and division means death."
In view of the powerful democratic spirit growing in the north of our kingdom, we feared that conflict between north and south could be inevitable if we were to wait for a National Congress to decide us, and we know that this conflict, if it occurred, would plunge our people into suffering and would play the game of the invaders.
We cannot but have a certain feeling of melancholy upon thinking of our glorious ancestors who fought without respite for 400 years to aggrandise our country from Thuan Hoa to Hatien.
Despite this, and strong in our convictions, we have decided to abdicate and we transfer power to the democratic Republican Government.
Upon leaving our throne, we have only three wishes to express:
l. We request that the new Government take care of the dynastic temples and royal tombs.
2. We request the new Government to deal fraternally with all the parties and groups which have fought for the independence of our country even though they have not closely followed the popular movement; to do this in order to give them the opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of the country and to demonstrate that the new regime is built upon the absolute union of the entire population.
3. We invite all parties and groups, all classes of society, as well as the royal family, to solidarize in unreserved support of the democratic Government with a view to consolidating the national independence.
As for us, during twenty years' reign, we have known much bitterness. Henceforth, we shall be happy to be a free citizen in an independent country. We shall allow no one to abuse our name or the name of the royal family in order to sow dissent among our compatriots.
Long live the independence of Vietnam!
Long live our Democratic Republic!
On November 10, 1945, he was given the position of Supreme Advisor in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam located in Hanoi. Some short months later he went into voluntary exile in Hong Kong and China until 1949. It is very evident according to contemporary historians that with the French attempting to gain colonial control and the Communists attempting to remove all of the Emperor's powers that his only alternative was to leave Vietnam.
On June 5, 1948 His Imperial Majesty signed an accord recognizing the Vietnamese national unity within the French Union. His Imperial Majesty on June 27th 1948 returned to Vietnam with the support of the French and was recognized by the ruling government as 'Head of State' or Chief of State. On April 29, 1949 he received the title Quoc Truong. He was installed in July 1, 1949. Between 1949 till his overthrow in 1955, although being referred to as Premier (and Emperor), and recognized by the United States and Great Britain, he was never widely accepted by his Vietnamese subjects (Shenon). In 1954, with the signing of the peace accord between France and the communist government, Bao Dai in a last attempt to gain power, tried to assume power in South Vietnam.
Shortly after the defeat of the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 1954, he was again over-thrown in October 23, 1955."The French casualties totaled over 7,000 and a further 11,000 soldiers were taken prisoner. The following day the French government announced that it intended to withdraw from Vietnam. The following month the foreign ministers of the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France decided to meet in Geneva to see if they could bring about a peaceful solution to the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam." (Education)
After much negotiation the Geneva Accord specified the following:
(1) Vietnam would be divided at the 17th parallel;
(2) North Vietnam would be ruled by Ho Chi Minh;
(3) South Vietnam would be ruled by Ngo Dinh Diem, a strong opponent of
(4) French troops would withdraw from Vietnam;
(5) the Vietminh would withdraw from South Vietnam;
(6) the Vietnamese could freely choose to live in the North or the South; and
(7) a General Election for the whole of Vietnam would be held before
July, 1956, under the supervision of an international commission."
(Education) The United States felt that," If the scheduled national elections are held in July 1956, and if the Viet Minh does not prejudice its political prospects, the Viet Minh will almost certainly win, ... And US President Dwight Eisenhower admits, 'I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indo-Chinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, a possible 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader." (Center for Cooperative Research) "The US helps arrange a national referendum between Vietnamese Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem and Emperor Bao Dai. Diem 'wins' 98.2 percent of the vote. Interestingly, a total of 605,000 votes are cast despite there being only 405,000 registered voters." (Center for Cooperative Research)
"Despite swearing an oath of obedience to the Emperor in 1955 His Prime Minister Ngo-Dinh-Diem orchestrated a rigged plebiscite (a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler) to abolish the monarchy. With his henchmen "supervising" all of the polls the result was an embarrassingly high 99% in favor of Diem. After this blatant democratic farce he assumed power, a Catholic in a nation of Buddhists and propped up by America when Vietnam distrusted all foreigners" (Crisp).
His Prime Minister Ngo-Dinh-Diem, through United States backing had, as mentioned taken possession of the vote and declared a referendum that deposed Bao Dai and ended the monarchy. The country (South Vietnam) became a republic in October 1955. Ngo-Dinh-Diem became the republic's first president. In 1963, the president himself was overthrown and assassinated in a United States led coup. Bao Dai left Vietnam in 1955 when President Ngo-Dinh-Diem abolished the monarchy
The former Emperor was no longer involved in his country's activities after this period and rather became interested in his life in Paris and the Riviera (i.e. golf, women, and bridge) (Shenon) He also remained silent about the political and social events of his country. As the years went by, he was seldom seen in public. In a rare public statement made in 1972 he appealed 'to the Vietnamese people for reconciliation" (Shenon). Due to his excessive spending on his many hobbies he spent most of the royal fortune and spent the last few years of his life in near poverty, living in a small modest home in Paris.
Bao Dai was in 1988 received into the Roman Catholic Church at Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, Paris and baptized with the names of Jean-Robert.
In 1993, Emperor Bao Dai organized the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty Overseas Council and he decided to choose H.I.H. Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Phuc, of Cannes France to head it and H.I.H Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh as the General Secretary.
His Imperial Majesty died at the Military Hospital of Val-de-Grâce, Paris on July 31, 1997 at the age of 83. He was interred in the Cimetière de Passy, Paris.
In February 2004, H.I.H. Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Phuc choose H.I.H. Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh to assume the Regency of the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty Overseas Council. Prince Regent Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh is the Grand Mastership of the Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam, founded in 1886.
VIETNAMESE IMPERIAL CROWN PRINCE
In 1936 the last Emperor and Empress of Viet Nam gave birth to their first child, Nguyen Phuc Bao Long. At the time the monarchy was secure and hopes were bright that the new monarch, Emperor Bao Dai, would lead Viet Nam into a new era of prosperity and independence. Few people could have imagined that the newborn child would be the last heir to the throne of the Nguyen Imperial Dynasty that had reigned over the land of the Ascending Dragon for over a hundred years.
The young royals' first official engagement came on March 7 1939 when, at the age of three, he was invested and proclaimed Crown Prince of Viet Nam, the official heir to the throne in an ancient Confucian ceremony. Little did he know that the future which seemed so bright was on the verge of collapse as Viet Nam slipped slowly into the grasp of the Communist insurgents.
During World War II, Japan had occupied French Indochina with the blessing of the French government at Vichy. After the surrender of Japan Viet Nam fell into political chaos with no one able to exercise government control. During the August Revolution of 1945 the Communists, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, seized control of the northern half of Viet Nam and forced Emperor Bao Dai to abdicate the Golden Throne. In one month, 5,000 years of traditional monarchy in Viet Nam was brought to a sudden end. The future role of the Emperor was uncertain, as was the fate of the rest of the Imperial Family. The French colony in Cochin China (South Viet Nam) had managed to survive the Communist Revolution and some favored establishing independence under a monarchy headed by Crown Prince Bao Long. However, the Empress refused to consider this and totally opposed the measure since it would have given Imperial approval of the division of the country and since Emperor Bao Dai was still the one and only legitimate ruler of Viet Nam .
However, Crown Prince Bao Long was certainly not inactive during this period, despite his young age. Due to the confusion and violence of the post-war nation and the exile of the Emperor. Empress Nam Phuong left Viet Nam with the Crown Prince and his brother and three sisters in 1947. They took up residence at the Chateau Thorenz outside of Cannes , France . Little did they know, none of them would ever see their homeland again. Since the Empress was a devout Christian of the Roman Catholic Church, Crown Prince Bao Long was sent to receive his education in some of the most renowned Catholic schools of France, such as the Roches School in Normandy. For his higher education Crown Prince Bao Long went to Paris where he studied law and political science. By this time, the Emperor had returned as leader of the anti-communist national government and these studies would serve the Crown Prince well for his future role in state affairs.
As part of the effort of the Free World to support the government of Emperor Bao Dai, in 1953 Crown Prince Bao Long was invited to attend the coronation of Britain 's Queen Elizabeth II in London to represent the Vietnamese Imperial Family. When the State of Viet Nam came under attack by Communist forces Emperor Bao Dai formed the first official Vietnamese national army since the beginning of French colonialism to defend the Saigon government. Crown Prince Bao Long was anxious to do his part in defending the country and volunteered to join the fighting forces, however, Emperor Bao Dai, fearing for his son's safety and the future of the Dynasty, refused to allow him in the service of a rapidly escalating war. Still eager to do his duty, Crown Prince Bao long instead joined the French Army on October 6 1954. He spent two years at St. Cyr Military Academy before attending the world-renowned Saumur Military Academy from which he graduated as a lieutenant. By this time the French had withdrawn their forces from Viet Nam and the Emperor had been deposed by his American-backed Prime Minister, who established himself as President of the Republic of Viet Nam.
Nevertheless, after finishing his officer training Crown Prince Bao Long saw service in the French colonial war in Algeria During the campaign he highly distinguished himself, receiving the Cross of Military Valor with three stars for his courage in battle. This decoration was added to those he had already received, including the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit, the decoration of the Golden Gong 2nd Class, the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Cambodia, the Order of the Million Elephants and White Parasol of Laos and a commemorative medal for attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He remained as an officer in the French army for ten years before leaving the service. He then took his current job with a bank in Paris. Crown Prince Bao Long remains unmarried and lives alone in an apartment in Paris. In his younger days he enjoyed riding horses, car racing, reading and playing chess. His favorite author is Jules Verne. Since the Communist takeover in Viet Nam Crown Prince Bao Long was careful to avoid public attention and remained a very private person. His last public announcement came in 1997 when the Emperor Bao Dai passed away in a Paris military hospital. Crown Prince Bao Long inherited the position of head of the Nguyen Dynasty and released a video taped statement on the occasion of the Emperor's funeral in which he expressed to the Vietnamese community his his feelings and memories of their last Emperor. While others in the Vietnamese Imperial Family continue to oppose the Communist government and lobby the world community for support in bringing democracy and human rights to Viet Nam, Crown Prince Bao Long has expressed his desire to stay out of all political discussions and spend his golden years in quiet seclusion. Given the amount of turmoil he has been witness to, and the amount of sacrifice endured by his family for most of his life, his peers understood and respected his desire for a little peace and quiet.
BRIEF REVIEW OF CROWN PRINCE BAO LONG
1936 - H.I.H. Crown Prince Bao Long, Head of the Imperial House of Vietnam. was born at Kien-Trung Palace, Hue on January 4th 1936, He is the eldest son of His Majesty Bao Dai by his first wife, Her Majesty Empress Nam Phuong;
1938 - Bao Long was appointed heir and was given the title of Dong-Cung Hoang-Thai Tir;
1938, September 17, he was invested at the Palace of Can-Chanh, Hue;
1939 - March 17 he came of age;
1954 He was made Heir Apparent; and
1997 - Succeeded on the death of his father as Head of the Imperial House of Annam, 31st July 1997.
* Bao Long is the Head of the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam and Sovereign of the order of the Dragon of Annam. The aforementioned article is used with the permission of H.H. Nguyen-Phuc Vinh Nap, Prince of Tran Dinh -
H.I.H. PRINCE BUU CHANH
H.I.H. Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh was born on 12 February 1942, in the ancient Imperial capital of Hue, Vietnam. He is descended from the Imperial Nguyen Family of Prince Kien Hoa, who was the 71st son of the Emperor Minh Mang, and holds the same family rank as the Emperor Khai Dinh (the late father of Emperor Bao Dai).
From 1964-1970, Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh attended the National High School at Hue, before earning a B.A. degree in literature at Hue University. He then attended Dalat Universit, where he obtained masters degrees in Political Science and Business Administration. The Prince then worked as assistant to Colonel Nguyen Be at the Ministry of Rural Revolutionary Development, Chi Linh - Vung Tau Center.
From 1971-1973, the Prince was General Director of the 4th Tactic Zone at the Ministry of Economy in Saigon and until 1975 was Assistant General Director of the Vissan Company in the Ministry of Industry, Saigon.
After 1975, he, his wife Princess Phan Lien and their children went into exile and moved to the United States of America.
From 1982-1984, the Prince attended Northeastern University, Illinois where he graduated with high honors, obtaining a B.S. in Information Science.
Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh is the President of the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League, President of the Southeast Asia Imperial & Royal League and Vice-Chairman of The British Committee for Free Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.
Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh was decorated with the United States Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom.
He was also recognized by the United States Republican Party "For distinction and achievement in helping to promote and perpetuate the ideals and principles of the Republican Party", and was recognized as a prominent leader.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Senator Alphonse M. D'Amato awarded Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh with a personalized Eternal Flame of Freedom Brass Medallion and he was nominated to have his name engraved on the Ronald Reagan Eternal Flame of Freedom monument in Washington D.C.
In 1993, the late Emperor Bao Dai organized the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty Overseas Council and he decided to choose Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Phuc, of Cannes, France to head it and Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh as the General Secretary.
Prince Regent Nguyen Phuc Buu Chanh is currently working with Prince Mangkra Souvannaphouma of Laos, Prince Schwebomin of Burma , Vietnamese exiles, the Montagnard Foundation, the United Nations, members of the British Parliament and members of the United States government to promote the restoration of democracy and human rights, along with free traditional governments to all of the people and cultures of Southeast Asia.
This article is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article entitled "Prince Regent Buu Chanh". Any comments, suggestions or disagreements should be sent to HIH Prince Buu Chanh or the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty Overseas Council.
Christopher Buyers, "Vietnam - The Nguyen Phuoc Dynasty," January 2002 - March 2004 (Website)
La Republique [Hanoi], Issue no.1 (October 1 1945), translated in Harold R. Isaacs (ed.), New Cycle in Asia
Philip Shenon, "Bao Dai, 83, Last Emperor of Vietnam," New York Times, August 2, 1997
Bao Dai's Obituary, published by the NY Times - From Vincent Ferraro's Website at Mount Holyoke College