Babar's Kingdom

Babar's Kingdom
The Story of Babar location
Created by Jean de Brunhoff
Genre Children's books
Type Monarchy
Notable locations Celesteville (capital)

Created by Jean de Brunhoff between 1931 and 1937, Babar's Kingdom, also known in French as Le pays des Éléphants (Elephant Land), is a fictional country supposedly in Southern Africa consisting of elephants and other animals, which are usually bipedal and civilized and live. As its name implies, it is ruled by its first civilized citizen, Babar himself. The political regime seems to be an absolute monarchy, but it is unknown whether it is hereditary or elective. The court consists of King Babar, Queen Celeste, Royal Princes and Princesses (Pom, Flora, Alexander, Isabelle and Badou), Pompadour, Troubadour, and Cornelius, who also serves as Secretary of Defense and a Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The capital is Celesteville, which was built by Babar and named after his Queen. The name of the city is sometimes used for the country.[1]

A neighboring country is Rhino Land, ruled by the (sometimes) tyrannical King Rataxes. The relations between Celesteville and Rhinoland had occasionally flared into war, though it is usually just a statement and peace is restored before much damage or casualties are suffered. The elephant army is under the direct command of King Babar (and likewise the rhino army is under the command of Rataxes). Some stories feature the two countries working together against common threats, such as when the area is infiltrated by poachers, and the two will help each other during times of need or crisis. In the television series, after working together to defend the region against a group of poachers, the two countries, along with other nearby animal-controlled territories, form a "united jungle coalition", a concept similar to the United Nations, which prevents major conflicts between the animal countries thereafter. The militaries of the countries are considered simple and rely mostly on simple hand weaponry, such as spears and staffs. Guns are strictly forbidden by all the animals, due to their disgust with the poachers who would use the weapons. Not even Rataxes dares to think of arming his country with such things, after seeing their effects first-hand.

The countries do seem to have at least some trade and commerce with each other, as well as with other kingdoms and countries, both animal and human controlled.


Celesteville is the capital of Babar's Kingdom. The city is ruled by King Babar and named after his wife, Queen Celeste.

Celesteville is described differently in several places in the series. In the original incarnation, Babar built Celesteville after he returned from France, and began westernizing his kingdom. He named his new city Celesteville, after the female elephant he had fallen in love with. The city lies in the middle of a jungle plain, surrounded by mountains, and is connected to a nearby sea or ocean, and is a port city.

Early on, like the rest of Babar's Kingdom, Celesteville is primarily populated by elephants. Minorities include monkeys, lions, crocodiles, hippos and at least one human. Though they are minority populations, they are treated as equals with the elephants, and are given the same rights, liberties, and respects that the elephants have, and are fully incorporated into the elephant society. However this has drastically changed later on, with the city having a vast number of other animals besides elephants, possibly due to the taming of wild jungle animals.

Known citizens of Celesteville include:

By Babar's decrees, a number of public institutions, schools, hospitals, parks, museums, libraries, an opera house, and other works of infrastructure have been built. The kingdom has a rail line, and Celesteville itself is connected to a large body of water (presumably a sea or ocean), making it a port city. Vehicle traffic is common in the kingdom, especially Celesteville, but most of the residents still seem to prefer to travel on foot or by bicycle, since many of the city's amenities seem to be fairly close to each other. The city is wired with electricity and phone service, which are commonplace, and there also appears to be a limited amount of radio and television services. Fresh water and sewage systems are also abundant. The kingdom has a policy of free press, and is serviced in large part by newspaper. Literacy and schooling is high, and it appears that nearly 100 percent of the population is educated. Crime, poverty, and the penal system are rarely featured in the series, and are presumed to be rare in Babar's Kingdom though criminals like Prospero and the pirate Blacktrunk occasionally appear to cause trouble. The Royal Guard acts as both the Kingdom's Royal Guard and occasionally functions as Celesteville's police force likely due to crime being a rarity in the kingdom and are often called in to defend the palace and Celesteville from attack or theft by the likes of Prospero and Blacktrunk. Besides the palace they also protect valuable objects and other important places around Celesteville.

Babar and his family, as well as his advisors and some royal staff, live in a large palace in the center of the city. The palace is the kingdom's largest structure, contains several stories, dozens of rooms, and a very large garden complex. It also houses a home for madame, the first building completed in Celesteville.


  1. Mehren, Elizabeth (1989-12-24). "A Legendary Elephant King of the Forest Has Taken Up U.S. Residency With His Growing Family and His Illustrator". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
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