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HENRI IV FRANCE - WIVES

 

Marguerite Valois (1553-1615) - Daughter of Henri II of France and Catherine de Medici, she married Henri III of Navarre on the 18th of August 1572. Their wedding celebrations became the St. Bartholomew's day massacre. For the first few years of their marriage, Henri was kept prisoner at court, until he escaped in 1576. Marguerite joined him in Nerac in 1578. However they hardly lived as husband and wife. Henri had mistresses and Marguerite lovers. Together they had no children. Marguerite started playing politics, which went badly wrong around 1584, causing her to flee first to the chateau of Carlat and then Usson, fearing that either Henri III her brother, or Henri III her husband would have her killed. She and Henri were divorced in 1599. She eventually returned to Paris from Usson in 1605, where she died in 1615. History remembers her mainly for being promiscuous and for failing to produce an heir to the throne.

A picture of Marguerite Valois, first wife of King Henri IV of France

A picture of Marie de Medici when a young lady, second wife of King Henri IV of France and mother of Louis XIII

Image from rare print, kindly provided by R.E.Lewis & Daughter

Marie de Medici - (1573-1642) - Daughter of the Grand Duke Francis I of Tuscany and Joan of Austria, she married Henry IV of France on the 5th of October, 1600. She was more successful than Marguerite in that she bore several children, Louis, Elisabeth, Chretienne, Nicolas, Gaston Jean-Baptiste and Henriette-Marie. During her marriage to Henri she had to put up with his many mistresses, who also produced children by him. Henri arranged for her to be crowned on the 13th of April 1610. On the 14th of April 1610, he was murdered and she was proclaimed regent, since their son Louis was too young to rule. She quickly started to reverse many of Henri's policies. Of their children Louis was married off to Anne of Austria, Elizabeth to Philip IV of Spain and Henriette-Marie to Charles I of England. Her son young Louis XIII had to resort to ordering the murder of her closest confidant, Concini in 1617, to reclaim his right to rule from her. Conspiracy was in her blood and this lead to her being exiled from 1631 to her death in 1642.


 


A picture of a red shield with a linked chain motif, representing the kingdom of Navarre

 

 

 

DVD Movie USA - Code 1

DVD Movie Europe - Code 2

A story about Marguerite Valois and the St. Bartholomew's day massacre

A picture of a red shield with a linked chain motif, representing the kingdom of Navarre

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A picture of a blue shield with 3 yellow Fluer de lis, representing the Kingdom of France