Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as emperor of the French with the name of Napoleon I at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, on December 4th, 1804. Napoleon explained: "To be a king is to inherit old ideas and genealogy. I don't want to descend from anyone."
Bonaparte was offered to become King of France. Nevertheless, he rejected that idea because he had fought against the French Monarchy and considered himself a soldier of the French Revolution. As a matter of fact he was not only a soldier but a founder of several republics as well under the name of the French Revolution.
As a result, Napoleon preferred to copy the Roman Title of Emperor because it meant to represent all the people and thus he called for a plebiscite which was held a month before on November 1804 with an extraordinary majority in favor of Napoleon’s wishes to become the Emperor of the French or the French people’s representative. 99.93% of the French voters approved the plebiscite.
Joséphine kneels before Napoleon during his coronation at Notre Dame. Behind him sits pope Pius VII.
Napoleon did not want to be crowned by Pope Pius VII because he would not allow any subjugation to any religious authority since he had legalized all religious confessions under equal rights, as a General Council. Therefore, he would not allow any privilege or advantage to none of them.