Here we have an actual letter from Hortense (Napoleon’s Stepdaughter) to Louis Marchand.

It looks like they were selling this letter for 200/300 Euros but it went for over a 1,000.


In 1815, Hortense last saw her beloved stepfather Napoleon and she gave him a diamond necklace valued at 200,000 francs because she was worried he’d need it. Napoleon tried to give her an I.O.U but she refused. It had been a gift from him. Napoleon always lavished his stepdaughter with diamonds.


On St. Helena, Napoleon’s valet Marchand was so dedicated to him that Napoleon gave this necklace to Marchand and named him a Count. He asked for his wife Marie Louise to make it official (which she could not or did not do). The Emperor’s wishes were finally honored when Hortense’s son, Louis Napoleon, took back control of France as Napoleon III.


Here is a translation of the letter: 


I received your letter ... and the little locket of hair that is very precious to me. I know all the care you have lavished on the Emperor. His family will always have a sweet memory of it, and it is a title you have acquired as a testiment of his gratitude. I have charged Baron Devaux [the former attendant of Queen Hortense's Household, Baron Michel-Victor-Frederic Devaux-Moisson] to give you a little pin. I desire that this feeble memory will prove to you all the esteem inspired by your conduct and my feelings for you (etc.)


Here is where Napoleon is described giving Hortense’s diamond necklace to Marchand. 


Listen to Marchand’s brilliant memoirs about the great man Napoleon:


This is said to be a necklace Napoleon gave Hortense but I don’t think it’s the necklace that Napoleon bequeathed to Count Marchand.