Bảo Đại, the last of the Nguyễn dynasty, was the Emperor of Annam (a protectorate within French Indochina) from 1926 to 1945.

After the Japanese ousted the Vichy-French administration in March 1945 Bảo Đại was named ruler. He soon renamed the country “Vietnam“.

When the Viet Minh seized power in August 1945 after the Japanese surrender, Bảo Đại held an advisory role as “Citizen Prince Nguyen Vinh Thuy.”

Finding no role with the Viet Minh, and distrustful of the French, Bao Dai fled to Hong Kong in 1946 where he led a frivolous life.

In 1949 the French accepted the principle of an independent Vietnam but retained control of its defense and finances. Bao Dai became temporary premier, but left the affairs of state to pro-French Vietnamese appointees and was known as the “Playboy Emperor.”

In 1955, criticized for being too closely associated with France, Bảo Đại was ousted by Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in a fraudulent referendum vote.