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THE DUKE OF MORNY

Politician

Founder of Deauville

Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny was born in Paris on September 17, 1811. The civil status document drawn up for the occasion was a forgery. His real father is Charles de Flahaut, General of the Empire and brilliant officer of the Imperial General Staff. His mother is none other than Queen Hortense, who will marry Napoleon Bonaparte in the second wedding (so he is the half-brother of Napoleon III).

The birth of the Duke of Morny remains surrounded by a great mystery. The very place of his birth is controversial. In Swiss ? In Paris ? Around Aix, or even in Montpellier? Queen Hortense and Charles de Flahaut probably had good reasons…

He was one of the authors of the Coup d'Etat of December 2, 1851 (which, a year later, was to consecrate Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor) and he immediately became Minister of the Interior. President of the Legislative Body (today the National Assembly) from 1854 to 1865, he participated in all the major industrial and financial operations of the Second Empire.

Summer 1858: the Duke of Morny was invited to Trouville by his personal doctor, Doctor Olliffe who managed the salon at the Casino de Trouville. Morny was a visionary: seeing in front of Trouville 160 virgin hectares, marshes and 3 km of fine sand, he seized the opportunity to exploit this shore to create a seaside resort where "All Paris" would go.

Thus was formed an association of men, reliable, competent and ambitious friends from different horizons, whose aim was, in Morny's words, to create "the kingdom of elegance". Alongside Morny and Dr Olliffe, there was also Mr. Donon, a Parisian banker, director of the Ottoman bank, who knew how to find the funds necessary for the operation, and Mr. Breney, a Parisian architect who drew up the plans for the future city (he will also become the 1st mayor of Greater Deauville).

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