Have you ever had designs on ruling Europe? Now is your chance.
An unusual part-time job vacancy has arisen on the remote island of St Helena, a British territory in the middle of the south Atlantic, where tourism officials are seeking a shortish “male person” willing to act as France’s infamous emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, The Guardian reported.
The post is unpaid and candidates are expected to be “well presented and have the ability to engage with individuals at all levels, especially dignitaries” at events to mark the anniversary of Napoleon’s death on the volcanic outcrop in May 1821. Ability to speak French, preferred, of course.
Sophia Joshua, St Helena’s tourism officer, said the Bonaparte impersonator would ideally be someone local, as they would be called into action for a series of events over the next two years, the Guardian reported.
She said: “We’re looking for someone on the island who will do this on an ad hoc and voluntary basis. The advert only went out yesterday so we’re waiting to see what kind of interest we get. We have had one person come in already and try on the suit.
“We already have the tailor-made suit because we had a Napoleon impersonator and it was made for him, but he has since left the island so we’re looking for a replacement. The 200th anniversary programme is still being finalized but there will be a lot of events. We hope to attract tourists to the island.”
Before his surrender to the British, Napoleon built an empire that ruled much of continental Europe. Born in Corsica, he is considered to have been one of the world’s greatest military commanders. His battle strategies and campaigns are still studied at military colleges in many countries, the Telegraph reported.
He was exiled to St Helena, a volcanic rock that sits in the south Atlantic 2,500 miles (4,020 km) east of South America and 1,210 miles west of southern Africa, after the Battle of Waterloo. He arrived there in October 1815 along with a small French retinue and remained until his death six years later.
His final years were spent at Longwood House, on a windswept plain just under four miles from the island’s capital, Jamestown. Local legend has it that he cut holes in the wooden shutters so he could see outside without being seen, the Guardian reported.
The causes of his death have been debated. An autopsy carried out by Napoleon’s French physician declared he had died of stomach cancer. Others prefer to believe he was poisoned with arsenic by his British jailers.
Until an airport opened in 2017, the only way to reach St Helena, home to 4,500 islanders, was by sea, involving a five-night voyage on the mailboat from Cape Town.
The deadline for would-be impersonators to visit the island’s tourist office and see if the Bonaparte suit fits is September 27.