Emperor Ham Nghi of Vietnam
       The younger brother of Emperor Kien Phuc, Ham Nghi had lived in poverty with his mother, who was a commoner, in the suburbs of Hue. After the previous emperor was deposed, the French decided that perhaps a child would be a better monarch as they could control him easier and run the country without a grown man pointing out their every treaty violation. It is for this reason that they chose the fourteen-year-old Ham Nghi. He was taken in rags to the Forbidden City, scrubbed, dressed in lavish robes and crowned the Son of Heaven. Although he had not recieved a "noble" education, Emperor Ham Nghi proved very adept at politics and was soon to realize that his country was being walked all over by their colonial "protectors". The palace was soon armed with artillery directed towards the French headquarters. For a time tensions were quite high as the French increased military patrols and the Emperor became more vocal about his hatred of their presence in his country.
        On July 4, 1885 what eventually became known as The
Mandarins Revolt broke out under the leadership of Nguyen Van Tuong and Ton That Thuyet. The palace was stormed and Emperor Ham Nghi and three empresses were taken away. Along with these men, Emperor Ham Nghi fled to the hills and jungles around Laos to wage a guerilla war against the French occupation forces. The French began the process of replacing Ham Nghi with his brother Dong Khanh who was more friendly towards their protectorate. Since Ham Nghi was nowhere to be found and the law of the land was that "the nation cannot be 1 day without a king" Emperor Dong Khanh was enthroned as the Son of Heaven and Ham Nghi lost any chance he might have had at going back home.
        After time, Emperor Ham Nghi was deserted by his supporters and his resources began to run out. In 1888 the Emperor's primary bodyguard turned traitor and arrested Ham Nghi, handing him over to the French authorities. Despite the fact that he had been taken by force into this rebellion and later deserted by those who planned it, Ham Nghi refused to betray his companions and the French exiled him to Africa, keeping him alive in the event that he might prove useful in the future, at the time he was only eighteen-years-old. Later, when Emperors Thanh Thai and Duy Tan proved equally uncooperative the French considered restoring Ham Nghi to the throne but nothing ever came of the plan. In 2000 several members of the communist government in Vietnam visited the Emperor's daughter Princess Nhu Ly (now Countess De La Besse) to discuss the return of the remains of Emperor Ham Nghi to the Imperial City of Hue.
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