Napoleon Bonaparte built an Empire that spread across Europe before his defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Exiled to St Helena, he spent his final years at Longwood House, where he died in 1821. He was buried under a willow tree in the garden without fanfare, a simple gravestone marking the spot.
In his will Napoleon expressed a desire to be buried in Paris, a wish that was granted in 1840. Napoleon’s remains now lie in a tomb under the gold-plated dome at Les Invalides, his final resting place under the watchful gaze of 12 magnificent life-size angels, carved from stone and stationed by the pillars of the crypt.