Timeline of an iconic tree
Josephine de Beauharnais fascinated by Cedar Trees
First French Empire
1799 after buying the Chateau de Malmaison
Josephine de Beauharnais (1763 - 1814)
the young wife of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)
wants to turn the parc into a unique Botanic garden with an impact on all of Europe.
Rare plants come from ever corner of the globe.
Josephine requensts the fauna and the flore from the most remote places.
She has a particular passion for one plant.
Lebanon Cedars, known for their extreme longvity
beeing able to reach 500 years or more.
1800 Josephine has a cedar planted facing her Chateau de Malmaison.
The tree is called "le Cedre de Marengo"
Fascinated by Cedars Josephine also likes to offer them to her friends.
On 5 rue du Cedreon the border of the towns of Meudon and Clamart
lives the "Cedre Redoute".
The wife of Napoleon 1er has offerent it to her drawing teacher,
the peinter and rose expert Pierre Joseph Redoute.
She wanted to thank Redoute for his help creating the Roseraie of Mailmaison.
Cedre Imperial Meudon rue Napoleon
Facing the hill of the Cedre Redoute, in the heart of Meudon Centre
lives the "Cedre Imperial"
1799 - 1805 Estimated plantation date of the Cedre Imperial
located on rue Napoleon.
1815 image of Rue Napoléon (collection Commite de Sauvegarde des Sites de Meudon)
You can recognise the still exisiting wall seperating
the property of the General Jacqueminot from the road.
The Cedre was planted on a property facing the current No 8 and No 6
ot the street.
The name of the street changed with the political situation in France.
1815 a year after the death of Napoleon 1
was renamed "Rue des Princes".
The names chages again
3m13 Video about Napoleon I by Chateau de Versailles (fr)
Cedre Imperial Meudon rue Napoleon in Meudon
A mythem raises around the Cedre Imperial
Second French Empire
Le Second Empire arrives
1848 Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808 - 1873),
nephew of Napoleon 1er becomes the President of the 2nd Republique
replacing the Monarchy of July with under King Louis Philippe
1852 Napoleon Bonaparte becomes Emperor Napoleon III
1853 january 29 Eugenie de Montijo (1826 - 1920)
marries Napoleon III and becomes the Empress of the French.
52min04 Video in French on Napoleon III by Adyl Abdelhafidi
General Jean Francois Jaqueminot (1787 - 1865)
and his family
live right opposite the relatively young Cedre Imperial Meudon
Jacqueminot has a magical parc where he cultivated roses.
the precise geographic location where the tree has been planted:
geographic point 48.81038 - 2.236599
Empress Eugenie had never met Empress Josephine nor Napoleon 1st
She is interested by them and needs someone outside the family
to educated her on the history of the First Empire,
in particular the private life of the oncle and the aount of her husband.
The General Jacqueminot is a retired compagnon of Napoleon I lives in Meudon.
Eugenie visits the General to talk about Napoleon I ...
Josephine's passion for botanic plants and Cedar Trees captivate Empress Eugenie.
This is how she discovers the Cedre Imperial
facing the Jacqueminot property.
The Jacqueminot family has an admiration for this tree.
Sophie Angelique Jacqueminot (1792 - 1864) told the Empress
about the tree's magical power to transmit good energy and longevity
to people that liked him.
Eugenie that was very spirital starts to get attached to the tree.
She starts to visit him to meditate when she lives in the nearby Chateau de Saint Cloud.
Sometimes she also visits the magical cedar from the Palais des Tuileries,
her Paris residence.
Eugenie shows the tree to some of her confidentes,
but of course she could not tell the general public
that she cummunicated with a tree.
Imagine a President of France having a strong relation
with a tree or even with a bird or a dog,
he would not talk about this in public.
1855 Eugenie shows the tree to Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901)
and tells her friend about the trees secrets.
The Cedre Imperial is only 15 min
from the chateau de Saint Cloud.
The two Ladys hugged the treeand but their arms around him
so that he should give them
the good energy he is beleived to be able to transmit.
13min50 Video sur la Reine Victoria by Lindsay Holiday (en)
Victoria has a lot of influence on Eugenie
Did you know that the project of the famous Pavillons Baltard in the center of Paris
were completely changed because Victoria had shown Eugenie
a new construction in London made with never before seen glass walls,
the Crystal Palace.
Napoleon III, the Baron Haussmman and Victor Baltard
that worked on renewing the Paris Les Halles foodmarket
had aldready constructed a first Pavillon built all in stone.
When Eugenie saw it she mad everybody change their mind
and the Pavillons Baltard were completely reimagined
by the same architecty .... all in steel and glass.
1865 the General Jacqueminot dies
He has left his name to a rose, called "Rosa General Jacqueminot"
and to an avenue in Meudon which goes along his former property.
After his death the Meudon propery was split into smaller grounds.
The houses that were build there are extremly beautiful and are sourrounded by
the Avenue Jacqueminot,
the Rue de la Republique (once the Rue Napoleon)
the rue du General Gouraud which was a private path inside the property
and the rue du Docteur Babie.
The long wall that goes from the Lycee Institut Notre Dame
to the place du Rabelais, facing the cedar, is still there.
Form most of the houses
the magical Cedre Imperial can bee seen
1870 France was attacked by Bismark
envious to take Alsace Lorrainne
and the Second Empire fell.
France becomes a Republic.
Eugenie was granted exile in the United Kingdom.
1873 january 9 Napoleon III dies
1879 june 1 death of the Prince Imperial,
Louis Napleon, Eugenies only child.
Eugenie and Victoria stayed friends all her life.
1883 The 3rd Repiblic tries to erace memories
of the French Empire.
The street in Meudon is renamed "Rue de la Republique".
1887 May 12 - 23 The French Crown Jewels are sold.
The legend of the Cedre Imperial Meudon
survive in the United Kingdom
Eugenie continues to live for another 50 years
In the United Kingdom keeps telling the fairytales of the Cedre Imperial
to young children,
thus transmitting the legends to later generations.
20min31 the life of Eugenie told by Jean des Cars (in French)
1880 The child most connected to Eugenie
is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Alix Hessen (1872 - 1918).
Having lost her mother she is particularly capitvated
by Eugenie's beautiful stories from France
Eugenie has more time for Alix than her grandmother Victoria.
The most beautiful storied from France go around
Cremerie de Paris / Hotel de Villeroy Bourbon
a place where Louis XIV had spend parts of his childhood.
After the construction of the chateau de Versailles
Cremerie de Paris turned into
an avant-garde Telecommunications company,
La Poste Royale
where was later invented the Phone Book of the World.com
The Cedre Imperial de Meudon
with it's magical power to give strengh
to humans was also part of Eugenies stories.
The young Romanov children
love the Cedre Imperial Meudon
1894 November 26 Alix Hessen had married Nicolas II of Russia.
She repeats Eugenie's fairy tale stories about the Imperial Ceder
to her own children.
All the Romanov children want to travel to France
so that they would see the famous les Halles Centrales foddmarket,
Cremerie de Paris, the Pavillons Baltard
and they wanted to go to Meudon
to be able to hugh the magical Cedre Imperial.
You can see the Cedre Imperial
in the background of this photo taken around 1900.
While the tree in the front does no longer exist
you can also see the still exisiting wall of the Jacqueminot property.
1910s One of the cousins of the Romanov children
Vladimir Paley (1887 - 1918) lived in Boulogne sur Seine
2 Boulevard Victor Hugo Boulogne sur Seine not far from the Cedre Imperial
(the house still exists but the name of the street changed to
4 avenue Robert Schumann, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt).
Anastasia Romanov always asked Vladimir
to visit the tree and to tell her about it.
You might know some of the movies made about Anastasia Romanov
But did you know that the little girl always wanted
to be able to hug the magical tree ?
Walt Disney Film Studios created a "music box".
While the "music box Together in Paris is Hollywood fiction,
a real "music boxes" exist
it is the "Cedre Imperial Meudon"
or the "Cremerie de Paris".
1918 July 16 the five Romanov children were killed
Olga (1895 - 1918), Tatiana (1897 - 1918),
Maria (1899 - 1918), Anastasia (1901 - 1918) and Alexei (1904 - 1918)
But the legends of the Cedre Imperial did not die with them
as some of the children from the inner circle of the Romanovs escaped.
The Legends around the Cedre Imperial
return to France
1920s Dmitri Romanov (1891 - 1942)
the oldest of the inner cercle of the Romanov children
was in Iran when the revolution broke out.
He would come to Paris.
Dmitri Romanov showed Gabrielle Chanel (1883 - 1971)
all the fairytale places part of his childhood stories told in St Petersbourg,
Cremerie de Paris, les Pavillons Baltard
and the Cedre Imperial Meudon.
Chanel fell in Love and invited him
to stay in her house in Garches
also in the west of Paris, 10 km north of Meudon
What is left from their Love affiar
is N?5 and a little jewel that would
later help Cremerie de Paris to reopen.
(Phone Book of the World
editing this article was invented at Cremerie de Paris)
1920s Boris Romanov (1877 - 1943) was lucky
He also survived the revolution.
Also as some of his fortune was in an US Bank account,
so after the revolution he had money enabling him
to buy a beautiful house in Meudon.
He called it "Chateau Sans Souci" located on route des Gardes.
(The chateau was demolished and replaced by a building)
From time to time his older brother Kiril Romanov (1876 - 1938)
and his wife Victoria Melitta (1876 - 1936)
that had settled in Saint Briac (Brittany / France) stayed with him.
Victoria Melitta, another grand-daughter of Queen Victoria
was also called Victoria Federovna
They were considered to be the heirs of the Throne of Russia
Victoria Melitta loved the Cedre Imperial
and visited him whenever she was in Meudon.
(Victoria Melitta is a great aunt of both Queen Elisabeth II (born 1926)
and her husband Philipp Mountbatten-Windsor (1921 - 2021).
She is also a cousin of Alix Romanov / Hessen, the last Tsarina of Russia (1872 - 1918)
and the great-grandmother of Rixa Oldenburg that will appear a little later in this article.
After a divorce f her first husband Ernst Ludwig Hessen (1868 - 1937)
married Eleonore Solms (1871 - 1937), great aunt of the editor of this article.
and the Cedre Imperial Meudon
Coco Chanel (1883 - 1971)
became one of the admirers of the Cedre Imperial.
Le Cedre de Meudon in the history Chanel by VB.com
1953 When Chanel wanted to relaunch her fashion house
she was already 70 years old.
Again she needed a lot of energy to be able
to restart everything.
The French Press ridiculed her
for beeing too old.
So Chanel was looking for thoses that
could giver her the energy she needed:
the centuries old staircase of Cremerie de Paris
with a N?5 engraved into it's railings,
the magical C?dre Imp?rial of Meudon
and her wonderful friend Aimee Sotto Mayor (1903 -2006)
Cedre Imperial Meudon,
connected to a Love Story
that had an impact on WW2
1938 Aimee had been send from Brazil as a Secret Service agent.
With what she found out she turned into an international resistance fighter
keeping her country out of an alliance with the Axis powers
and trying to influence the Roosevelt administation in the US.
In the 1960s the two Ladys took the habit
to go the heights of Meudon
to visit the magical tree.
When Aim?e was in Paris (she lived in several places)
she would asked her young friend,
later editor of the Phone Book of the World
"what do you think of driving with me to Meudon ?"
so that she could visit the cedar.
Once Ted was in her company,
Ted Kennedy was the younger brother of JFK
and of Aim?e's former boyfriend Joseph Kennedy Jr.
All kinds of people that should have signed un "livre d'or"
which would now be able protect the tree.
None of its visitors would ever have imagined
the magical C?dre Imp?rial could
one day be threatened by a real estate project.
For a few a minutes Aim?es young friend
was not allowed to talk.
She but her arms around the trunk of the tree
as she had used to do with Chanel
so that she could meditate and get good energy from the Cedar.
For someone in his early 20s
this seamed a little bizarre
but when you get older and more mature you understand.
1943 during occupation some "resistances"
briefly changed the signs of his street,
"Rue de la Republique"
to "Rue Charles de Gaulle".
Did you know that de Gaulles personal secretary also lived in Meudon ?
After the war
the Cedre imperial survives
the distruction of the garden of Villa les Cedres
The beautiful iron gate on the 15 rue de la Republique (ex rue Napoleon) side
was taken down in the 1960s
but a long part of the gate still exists on 11 rue de la Republique,
tight next the the magical tree.
Half a century later
Acces to stories from the past
The editor of this article is too young
had the chance to meet the Aimée de Heeren.
He had just turned 20
and did not realise that Aimée that loved
to be with young people
had once been a major WW2 Secret Service agent.
Aimée never knew how to drive a car
and she was happly that from time to time
she could ask her young friend to drive her around.
One of the destinations was Meudon
where she went to visit the Cedre Imperial.
Aimée was still so beautiful
people turned around in the street.
One of her friends was
Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother of
Aimées boyfriend Joe Kennedy Jr .
Whenever Kennedy came to Paris he wanted to see Aimée
and once the editor of the article
took him along to visit the Cedre Imperial.
To bad that at the time taking pictures was not that common.
The only picture that is left was
taken at a reception in the Musée des Arts Decortaifs
Cedre Imperial in Danger
Real Estate Promotion in Meudon
2021 february terrible news circulate around the city of Meudon
A real estate project wants to kill the tree.
Administrators of the city want to use the grounds to construct a municipal building.
The tree is declarded to be sick and dangerous.
Rixa von Oldenburg, descedant of Cedre Imperial fans
Victoria Melitta Romanov and Queen Victoria
helped Phone Book of the World to learn more about
the history and the fairytales around the tree that have fascinated her family.
Rixa is great-grand daugter Grandduchess Victoria Melitta Romanov (part time Meudonnaise)
and the 3 x grand-daugter of Queen Victoria.
She is a niece of Queen Elisabeth II
2021 march Phone Book of the World
added the Cedre Imperial it's homepage
Thousands of children
paint the Cedre Imperial
2021 coming soon
Denis Larghero, the major of Meudon
listens to movement
and protects the Cedre Imperial
2021 coming soon