On January 6, 1862, an expeditionary force of 2500 French, 800 English and 6800 Spanish appeared before the coast of Mexico and occupied the town of Vera Cruz to coerce the Mexican government into paying its debts.

It was the beginning of an ignominious adventure that became known as the French Intervention: an attempt of the French Emperor Napoleon III to bring the economy of Central America under his control.

Mexico was to become a satellite state of France, and as its puppet rulers Napoleon had chosen the Austrian Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife, Princess Charlotte of Belgium.

They went down in history as Maximilian and Carlota of Mexico.

This is their story.

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