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Bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo June 18, 2015

Even though Napoleon won most of his battles, he lost this one to the UK's Duke of Wellington. Maybe that's why Prince Charles from the UK and the king and queen of Belgium attended, and France sent only a low-level diplomat to the ceremonies commemorating the 200th year of the battle in which both sides lost thousands of soldiers.

Waterloo bicentennial

There were 6,200 re-enactors, 330 horses and 120 cannons.

The history is that Napoleon had been in exile on the island of Elba, but February 26, 1815, he secretly sailed to the south coast of France. Landing March 1, Napoleon headed north with the 600 guardsmen he had brought with him, over mountain passes and through tiny villages, gathering supporters along the way. He arrived in Paris March 20, and Louis VIII fled. Bonaparte was restored as emperor.





Usually it's the same actor who portrays Napoleon, although this one said he was going to step down as of this re-enactment.

  Waterloo bicentennial

It brings out all sorts of costumed characters, among them other Napoleon wannabees.
Napoleon wannabee  

Hougemont is a farm house where the two armies fought. This is how it was recreated.

Waterloo ushered in Pax Britannica and the Victorian Age, where the empire culture would reach its zenith. The next 30 years of peace in Europe provided a chance to rest from war. The battle changed history. Had the Brits not won, they probably would be speaking French now.




The bicentennial event opened with a version of the battle on a stage 150 metres long with giant projector screens, pyrotechnics, dancers, classical musicians and local choirs – in addition to cast members drawn from the re-enactment groups


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