Visit of a governor of St Helena to France

  • Mark Capes (Governor of St Helena) and his wife Tamara on the roof of the cathedral of Les Invalides. Photo © Rebecca Young/Fondation Napoléon
  • Mark and Tamara Capes in the crypt of the tomb of Napoleon. Photo © Rebecca Young/Fondation Napoléon
  • Mark Capes at the tomb of Napoleon, in the Crypt of the Dome Church of Les Invalides. Photo © Rebecca Young/Fondation Napoléon
  • Mark Capes and Émilie Robbe (Curator of the Napoleonic collections at the Musée de l'Armée and co-curator of the exhibition “Napoleon on St Helena”) at the inauguration of the exhibition.
  • Mark Capes in front of the Casa Bonaparte in Ajaccio (Corsica).


Mark Capes, Governor of St Helena, accompanied by his wife Tamara and Michel Dancoisne-Martineau (Honorary Consul of the French Domains of St Helena), spent a week in France, for the inauguration of the exhibition “Napoleon on St Helena” of which the Fondation Napoléon is a partner.

They were officially received at the French Foreign Ministry, the Quai d’Orsay (co-organizer with the Fondation Napoléon of the operation “Save Napoleon’sHouse on St Helena”) by the Ministry’s secretary general, Christian Masset who took the opportunity to confirm the attachment of the French Domains of St Helena to the general direction of the administration of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (only the consular section will remain attached to Capetown).
The next day Mr and Mrs Capes continued their visit of Paris with the inauguration of the exhibition “Napoleon on Saint Helena” at the Musée de l’Armée accompanied by General Christian Baptiste (director of the Musée de l’Armée) and Jean-Marc Todeschini (Secretary of State for Veterans and memory at the Minister of Defence).
The next day they were taken on a detailed visit of Les Invalides by David Guillet (deputy director of the Musée de l’Armée), and attended a reception in honor of the major donors of the St Helena operation, with speeches by General Christian Baptiste, Graham Paul (Director of French Foreign Affairs Ministry Properties), Victor-André Masséna, Prince d’Essling (President of the Fondation Napoléon), and Mark Capes.
The last two days of the trip to France by the Governor of St Helena and his wife were spent visiting Ajaccio (Corsica): after a reception at the salon d’honneur of the town hall of Ajaccio with Jean-Pierre Aresu (Assistant for Napoleonic heritage in Ajaccio) (to read Mr Aresu’s speech, click here) click here),they visited the emblematic Napoleonic places of the city including the Palais Fesch, and concluded their trip with a visit to Napoleon’s birthplace, the Casa Bonaparte.
Throughout this historic visit of a Governor of St Helena to France, Mr and Mrs Capes and Mr Dancoisne-Martineau were accompanied by Jean Mendelson (Ambassador of France) and by the Fondation Napoléon represented by Victor-Andre Masséna (President of the Fondation Napoléon), Thierry Lentz (Director of the Fondation Napoléon), and Peter Hicks (Director for international affairs at the Fondation Napoléon).