Where They Are Now: Keeping Up with the Nguyen Dynasty Heirs
           Most of the heirs of the Nguyen Dynasty today live very low-profile lives and have adjusted well and successfully to living the lives of ordinary citizens around the world, mostly in France. Like other descendants of previous imperial families, such as the Le dynasty, some also continue to live in Viet Nam and do what they can, under certain political restrictions, to keep alive the memories of their ancestors, which have been undergoing a bit of a nostalgic revival lately. It should be understood and accepted however that for many, particularly those living overseas, have been through some extremely traumatic experiences and are quite reluctant to draw attention on themselves and their previous status. It has often been the case throughout history that those born to greatness aspire only for normalcy while it is those lacking in social status which seem all too eager to claw their way to the top.

           Going back the farthest, the offspring of the young, revolutionary Emperor Ham-Nghi and his French wife, married in exile, have done quite well for themselves, one son serving honorably in the French army during World War II, a daughter marrying into the French nobility and leading quite success-ful lives. For some years there have been rumors of negotiations between the family and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for the return of the remains of their beloved Emperor to Hue for a proper burial with his imperial ancestors. As of yet, there has been no news of any agreement having been reached.

          This question of final rest with honor did touch the children of the brave young Emperor Duy Tan. Through an agreement with the Vietnamese govern-ment they were able to have the Emperor moved back to Hue in a solemn and traditional ceremony to be laid to rest in the tomb of his grandfather, the "3-day king" Nguyen Duc Duc, alongside his father, Emperor Thanh Thai. Today, the two most visible children of the Duy Tan Emperor, Princes Georges and Claude Vinh San have made quite a name for themselves on their native Reunion Island. They have even collaborated in the production of a new movie on the life and tragic death of Emperor Duy Tan, in whom so many hopes were placed.

          The children of the last Emperor Bao Dai are living in quiet comfort in France. Crown Prince Bao Long, after leaving the army after honorable service in Africa, worked at a bank in Paris. He never married. Princess Phuong Lien married Mr. Bernard Soulain, also a successful banker, in 1962, which was quite an occasion for the locals of Chabrignac. Princess Phuong Mai married into the Italian aristocracy and both daughters have had two children and continue to do well. Crown Prince Bao Long died on July 28, 2007 at which time his younger brother Prince Bao Thang became Head of the Imperial Family and the
dejure Emperor of Vietnam in exile
H.I.H. Prince Bao Thang of Vietnam
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