“The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously affected our plans for the bicentenary, but it has failed to stop us from organizing small events to commemorate, as every year, Napoleon” declares Juliet Williams, the events manager of Saint Helena Napoleonic Heritage, a non-profit organization that works to preserve the memory of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte on the island of Saint Helena. Therefore, the SHNH has planned a ceremonies programme on the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death: the first event will take place on 5 May 2021 at the gardens of Longwood’s House, what was once the residence of the Emperor at the time of his exile on the island, where will be commemorated the exact time of death by listening to classical music, reading Bertrand’s notebooks and the letter of Montholon and observing a minute’s silence. The commemoration will then continue on 6 May close to Longwood’s Catholic Church with a mass followed by a ceremony in which will partecipate, to the tune of the Marseillaise, the Royal Navy and the French Navy. The programm will end on 9 May with a ceremony to the tomb of Napoleon to commemorate the day of the burial and with a public exhibition to remember the years of exile in the General Quarter.
But Saint Helena isn’t the only one who wants to commemorate the bicentenary, the Memorial of the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium, in fact, will propose an exhibition which will start on the very day 5 May and end on October 17 and will have as theme “Napoleon, from Waterloo to Saint Helena” and will exhibit documents of the battle, a hundred original pieces belonged to the emperor including a tricorn, a telescope and everyday objects like his bathtub, some paintings, crockery and books.