Although he came from the nobility, because he suffered from a bone disease, he chose an ecclesiastical rather than a military career. Then, he studied theology at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and he was a priest while he frequented a famous dancer. He would be always a chameleon.
In 1780, King Louis XVI of France had appointed him “Defender of the Goods of the Church” but when the French Revolution broke out, he would be a deputy and he would confiscate those goods to ingratiate himself with the people, and he would be the author of Article VI of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen: The law is the expression of general will. […] She must be the same for everyone.
Always intelligent, he wouldn’t trust in the Jacobins (Robespierre) and he would get away from France until the Terror finished (he spent those years in England and America).
When he returned to Paris in 1797, he was appointed minister of foreign affairs and conspired with Napoleon Bonaparte for the future Coup Estate.
With Napoleon, he continued in his role as a minister and signed the most important treaty of that period (with Russia). In 1801, he married Catherine Grand, a beautiful French native from India who had finished class prostitute in Paris after a life of scandal.
In 1806, he was appointed prince of Benevento, an Italian principality taken to the Pope, but he began to distrust Napoleon’s opinions, who planned the invasion of Russia. Betraying Bonaparte, he informed Tsar Alexander I informed… When Napoleon will fall, he will remain in office!
After Napoleon’s defeat, at the Congress of Vienna, he got to be present and plotted with England and Russia against Austria. Then, he got little punishment for France and huge profits for his pocket.
Vicious and womanizer but skillful politician, he will manage to remain in important positions with the successive rulers of France (Louis XVIII and Louis Philippe of Orleans) until 1834.
With 80 years, he retired to his castle of Valençay and he still had time to repent and to return to the bosom of the church which honored him as a bishop at his funeral.
Truly a character!