On this Day in French Royal/Imperial History

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October 20, 1496 birth of Claude, Duke of Guise. Grandfather of Mary Queen of Scots.

Claude was born to the house of Lorraine. His father was Rene II, Duke of Lorraine. His mother was Philippa of Guelder. He was the 2nd of 5 children who reached adulthood, all sons. His father was succeeded by his elder brother Antoine.

Claude was sent to the French court for his education, during the reign of Francis I. Claude distinguished himself as a skilled military leader. In the battle of Marignano where he first made a name for himself he received 22 injuries. He was governor of Champagne and Burgundy after helping defeat imperial troops which had invaded the regions.

When Francis returned from captivity in Spain he named Claude Duke of Guise and a peer of France. This was a major event as no one but a Prince of the blood had ever been made a Duke before in France. Because he was a member of the sovereign house of Lorraine, he claimed precedence over the Princes of Conde and Conti.

He died at the Chateau de Joinville in 1550. It is believed he may have been poisoned in retaliation for his perceived involvement in his wife's nephew Francois de Bourbon's death. Francois' victory at the battle of Ceresole helped to revive the prestige of the house of Bourbon which didn't set well with the Lorraine Duke of Guise.

In 1513 he had been married to Antoinette de Bourbon. Antoinette was the daughter of Francis, Count of Vendome and Marie of Luxembourg. Her brother Charles would be the first Duke of Vendome.

Antoinette bore her husband 12 children. All but 2 of them reached adulthood.

-Marie- best known for her marriage to James V of Scotland and being the mother of Mary queen of Scots. But her first marriage was to Louis II D Orleans, Duke of Longueville, a short but happy marriage which produced two sons. Her youngest son (born after his father died) died early and Francois died at 16. Francis was left in the care of Antoinette when Marie went to Scotland to marry.

-Francis: succeeded his father as Duke of Guise, a power at court during the time of his niece. Married Anne d'este with whom he had four children. He was assassinated and succeeded by his son Henri.

-Louise: married Charles II of Croy. But she died shortly after with no kids.

-Renee-abbess of St Pierre. She was the longest living sibling.

-Charles- became cardinal of Lorraine.

-Claude- Duke of Aumule. Married Louise de Breze (daughter of Dianne de Poitiers by her husband). They had 11 children.

-Louis: Cardinal of Guise. Unlike Charles and Francis, he didn't play a role in politics during Mary's life at the French court.

-Philip: first to die young

-Peter: the other to die young

-Antoinette: was an abbess

-Francis: served as Grand prior of the order of Malta

-Rene: made Marquis of Elbeuf. Married Louise de Rieux and had two children together. He accompanied his niece Mary home to Scotland and served as ambassador to the Scottish court.

Antoinette would out live her husband by many years. She died 1583 at the age of 88. She out lived all of her children except for Renee. She not only helped raise Marie's son from her first marriage, but she had a hand in raising Mary during her 13 years in France. She was considered a great advisor of her granddaughter. She was a shrewd woman who over saw the growth and stability of Guise lands for her husband and later son.
October 21, 1221 death of Alix, Duchess of Brittany.

She was born Alix of Thouars in 1200 in Brittany. Her mother was the reigning Duchess of Brittany, Constance. Her mother was the daughter of Conrad IV of Brittany who had been forced by Henry II to abdicate in favor of his daughter. Her father was Constance's third and final husband Guy of Thouars. Alix's parents had three daughters, a set of twins Catherine and Margaret followed her. Her mother died giving birth to the twins and Margaret died at birth. Catherine would marry Andrew III, Baron of Vitre with whom she had 3 kids. Alix's father would later remarry to Eustachie of Chamille and had two sons Peter and Thomas with her.

From her mother she had three half siblings from her first marriage to Geoffrey, son of Henry II of England. One died though before her birth. The other two were Eleanor, the fair maid and Arthur I. During Constance's life time Arthur served co-ruler when he came of age.

She by no means was expected to inherit Brittany. Unfortunately her half brother Arthur had been named heir by his uncle Richard I. When Richard died there was a struggle between Arthur and his Uncle John for the throne. Both Arthur and Eleanor were captured and held prisoner. Arthur disappeared in 1203 and Eleanor remained a prisoner for nearly 40 years.

As Eleanor was a prisoner, the Bretons recognized Alix as the Duchess of Brittany after Arthur's disappearance. They feared that John would claim regency over Brittany since he had Eleanor as a prisoner. Alix was 3.

Alix's father served as her regent until 1206 when Philip II of France stepped in as regent. Philip selected his cousin Peter of Dreux as her future husband. Peter was 13 years her senior. They were married in January 1213, when she was 12/13 and he was 25. In 1218 they were recognized as the Earl and Countess of Richmond in place of the imprisoned Eleanor.

Alix died at 20/21 years old. She was succeeded by her eldest son but her husband served as de facto ruler until 1237. Peter would marry two more times before his own death, having a son by his second wife as well. Peter died returning from Egypt on the seventh crusade, and was buried in Braine. He died in 1250.

She was buried in Villeneuve Abbey in Nantes.


The couple had three children, two of whom reached adulthood:

-John: succeeded his mother as Duke of Brittany though his father served as de facto ruler until John was 20. He married Blanch, a daughter of Theobald I of Navarre. They had 8 children though only the eldest 3 survive childhood. He was succeeded by his son John who had been married to Beatrice of England, a daughter of Henry III.

-Yolande: married Hugh XI of Lusignan, Count of La Marche and Angouleme. The couple had seven children. Like her father, Yolande's husband accompanied the king on the 7th crusade. He died in Egypt in the final major battle of the crusade and was succeeded by their son Hugh.

-Arthur: died at age 4, three years after his mother died.
On this day, October 21, 1422 ~ Demise of King Charles VI of France
He thought he was made of glass.
October 21, 1221 death of Alix, Duchess of Brittany.

The beautiful double tomb of Alix de Bretagne and her daughter Yolande de Bretagne survived until the French Revolution when it was sadly smashed and lost in 1793.The crypt along with the abbey church of Notre-Dame de Villeneuve was desecrated and then torn down,the remains of those once buried there were dumped in a pit.

October 25, 1510 birth of Renee of France.

Renee was the younger daughter of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany. She had an older sister Claude who was born in 1499 and would succeed their father in France and mother in Brittany (though Anne had wanted Renee to inherit Brittany in order for it to retain independence). Both of her parents had been married previously. Her mother had been married to Louis' predecessor Charles VIII but of their six pregnancies the only child who made it out of infancy died of measles at age three. Her father had annulled his marriage to Joan of France when he came to the throne, a long childless marriage, to marry Anne. Beyond Claude and Renee her parents had one short lived son, and two stillbirths.

Her mother died in 1514 and her father in 1515. Her sister Claude had been married to Francis the son of the Count of Angouleme. Francis was a great-great grandson of Charles V. He became the heir to the French throne when Louis became Louis XII due to Salic law and made Duke of Valois. On the death of Louis, Renee's brother in law became Francis I and Claude queen consort and Duchess of Brittany. The couple would have seven children including the future Henry II.

Renee was raised by her governess Michelle de Saubonne. Unfortunately Michelle who was a partisan of Anne, got sacked when Renee's parents died. Louise of Savoy, Francis' mother, had been enemies of Anne, and she resented Michelle was a supporter of the late queen. Renee was devastated by the loss, and when she left for her marriage, she took Michelle with her (though Michelle would later be banished with the other French nobles, by Renee's husband and return back to France).

After renouncing her claim to Brittany she was made the Duchess of Chartres by her brother in law. One of her childhood friends was Anne Boelyn when she was at court.

In 1528 at 18 she was married to Ercole, the future Duke of Ferrara . Ercole was the son of the infamous Lucrezia Borgias and her husband Alfonso d'Este. Ercole was 20. She brought with her a great dowry and annual annuity from Francis, and her court was quite rich and filled with intellects. Her husband became Duke of Ferrara with his father's death in 1534.

Her husband started dismissing many of her French nobles and courtiers. He found them too expensive and hated their influence on his court. Many were Lutherans. John Calvin himself spent many weeks at Renee's court and was influenced by the princess in some of his writing.

By 1540 the last of her French friends were gone. And her protestant friends were in great danger. She had been known to take the eucharist in the protestant form. Ferrara introduced the inquisition and by 1550-51 many were tried and executed for heresy. Her husband took her before her nephew Henry II and had her accused of heresy. She was threatened with the removal of all of her estates and money if she didn't renounce the protestant faith. She didn't agree to do so until her daughters were removed from her care and she was threatened never to see them again.

She longed to return home to France and when her husband died in 1559 she did. While her son in the law the Duke of Guise was alive, he was head of the Catholic league. But on his death she was able to become an active supporter of the protestant cause in France. She introduced protestant service at her estate. She reconnected with Calvin and one of his last letters before he died was addressed to Renee.

During the St Bartholamew's day massacre she was in Paris and she was able to protect a number of protestants from the attack. Catherine de Medicci attempted to have her renounce her new faith, but she failed.

Renee died at her estate in Montargis June 12, 1574, a few months before her 64th birthday. She had been a widow for 15 years. She died during the reign of her sister's grandson Henry III. She was buried at Montargis abbey.

She bore her husband 5 children. She was on bad terms with her eldest son when her husband died, one of the reasons for her move home.

-Anna: Named for her maternal grandmother.Married twice. First to Francis, Duke of Guise (uncle of Mary queen of Scots) and after his assassination she married the Duke of Nemours. She had 10 children, 7 with Francis and 3 with Nemours. Six of whom reached adulthood (4 from Francis, 2 from Nemours). She was the only sibling to give her mother grandchildren.

-Alfonso: Named after his paternal grandfather, he succeeded his father as Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara. Though he married three times, he had no children and the Duchy was inherited by a cousin.

-Lucrezia: named for her infamous paternal grandmother. Married Franceso II, Duke of Urbino. It was a childless marriage, and her husband died with no heirs after 2 marriages and Urbino ceded to the Papal states.

-Eleanora: Though she lived to 44, she never married. Likely named for Ercole's paternal grandmother Eleanor of Naples.

-Luigi: was made bishop of Ferrara and Archbishop of Auch. His name may have been a nod to his father's maternal uncle Pier-Luigi, Duke of Gandia.
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Though both were committed Huguenots Renée de France and her cousin,Jeanne d'Albret queen of Navarre despised each other and Renée had a better relationship with Catherine de Médicis.

Renée was also duchesse de Chartres, comtesse de Gisors et dame de Montargis in her own right.

Sadly Renée de France is largely a forgotten royal lady but none the less highly interesting.

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On this day, November 1, 1661 ~ Birth of Louis of France, Le Grand Dauphin, eldest son and heir of King Louis XIV of France
On this day, November 2, 1755 ~ Birth of Queen Marie Antoinette if France, wife of King Louis XVI of France. She was born an Archduchess of Austria. Her name was Maria Antonia.
The Archduchess Maria Antonia in 1762 :previous:

On this day : 4th of November 1485 -Death of Françoise d'Amboise ,Duchess of Brittany.

Marie was the daughter of Louis d'Amboise and Louise-Marie de Rieux and was Duchess of Brittany from 1450-1457 following her marriage to Pierre II. Following the death of her husband Marie entered the convent of Poor Clares in Nantes where she became Prioress. After her death Marie was buried beside her husband at the Collégiale Notre-Dame de Nantes.Sadly the ducal tombs and the church were destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution.


On this day, November 6, 1836 ~ Demise of King Charles X of France
I wonder if his remains will ever be repatriated to St Denis?
What does repatriated mean?

Means returning to the country of your birth. The opposite, expatriate or expat, being the more common term.

He was buried in Slovenia instead of home in France.

Its certainly not unheard of for royal remains to be returned to their original country when they died in exile. Even many years later.
King Charles was also the last French Monarch to be crowned and this was performed on the 29th of May 1825 at Reims Cathedral .Prior to that Louis XVI had been crowned 50 years earlier in 1775.

I wonder if his remains will ever be repatriated to St Denis?
I don't think the King's remains would ever be moved without his son, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren. To my knowledge Louis Alfonso de Borbon has said that he doesn't want them moved though I don't see what he has to do with the issue, l'aine de Bourbon or not. The reburial of Louise de Bourbon-Parma (one of the King's grandchildren) should in my opinion be up to her numerous descendants.
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Buried within the crypt of the Franciscan Kostanjevica Monastery in Slovenia re the following Bourbons :

King Charles X +1836
Prince Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême + 1844
Princess Marie-Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême +1851
Princess Louise Marie Thérèse d'Artois,Duchess of Parma +1864
Prince Henri, Count of Chambord +1883
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este,Countess of Chambord +1886
On this day, November 8, 1226 ~ Demise of King Louis VIII of France
November 11, 1441 birth of Charlotte of Savoy.

Charlotte was the daughter of Louis I, Duke of Savoy. Her mother was Princess Anne of Cyprus. Charlotte was the 9th of their 19 children (7th of 14 who would reach adulthood). Charlotte was named in honor of her maternal grandmother Charlotte de Bourbon.

In 1451 at the age of nine Charlotte was married to Louis, Dauphin of France. Louis was the eldest son of Charles VII and Marie of Anjou. Louis married her without the knowledge of his father. The 27 year old was a widower, his first wife Margaret of Scotland was a daughter of James I. Margaret had died in 1445 of a fever without having born him a child. Louis had been banished to his province of Dauphine after dishonoring his father's mistress in 1455. He would not return to court until after his father died, despite summons.

Charlotte and her husband were forced to flee to Burgundy when her father in law sent an army to retrieve his son. Duke Philip the Good provided the couple sanctuary at his court, and allowed them to settle at Genappe castle. Philip refused to hand over his guests when Charles sent demands for his son.

Her father in law died in July 1461. Her husband immediately set off to secure his throne, leaving his wife behind in Burgundy. The neglected young wife had been left to find her own way to Paris. Fortunately for Charlotte she found aid in the form of Isabella of Bourbon. Isabella was Philip's niece, the daughter of his younger sister Agnes. Isabella was married to her cousin, Philip's heir the future Charles the Bold. Isabella had served as godmother to one of Charlotte's short lived children. Isabella supplied Charlotte with the carts and escorts for her to safely travel from Burgundy to join her husband at the French court.

Charlotte was kept by her husband at the Chateau of Amboise. Among her courtiers were her sisters, and she over saw the education of her daughters. Charlotte had a love of literature and had a great library. She spent her time in filling religious duties, music, needlework and games. On the rare occasion her husband brought dignitaries to the chateau for her to meet like the Earl of Warwick in 1470.

Her husband died in August 1480 and was succeeded by their only son Charles VIII who was a minor. Her husband had not appointed her or any other regent but a counsel. Charlotte was well as her two son in laws served on the regency counsel among others. Her daughter Anne was the practical regent though.

Charlotte died December 1 1483 at her chateau. She was buried with her husband at Notre-Dame de Cléry Basilica.

The tomb of Charlotte and Louis XI.



Though she bore her husband eight children, three reached adulthood. Isabella of Bourbon was godmother to her second child Joachim.

Her three who reached adulthood:

-Anne: her fourth child, and first to reach adulthood. Married Peter II, Duke of Bourbon. Peter was the nephew of Isabella of Bourbon, the son of her brother Charles I. She bore her husband 2 children. Her husband was eventually succeeded by their daughter Suzanne as their son died unmarried. Suzanne would eventually be succeeded by Louise of Savoy as Duchess of Bourbon. Louise was Charlotte's niece, the daughter of her brother Philip II and his wife Margaret of Bourbon.

-Joan: Duchess of Berry and briefly queen of France. She married Louis of Orleans, who succeeded the throne after her brother died, as Louis XII. He had their childless marriage annulled to marry Anne of Brittany (he also married Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, shortly before his death). She was made Duchess of Berry and retired to her new domain where she took up a religious life. She was cannonized in 1950.

-Charles: succeeded his father as Charles VIII. Married Anne of Brittany but despite six recorded pregnancies, had no children to reach adulthood. His longest living was a son Charles who made it to three. He was succeeded by Joan's husband Louis when he died, and Louis married his widow.
During her husbands lifetime Charlotte de Savoie mainly lived away from court at the Château d'Amboise.

Queen Charlotte saw that both of her daughter received a brilliant education Following the death of Louis XI it was her daughter Anne de Beaujeu who ruled the kingdom a role that traditionally fell to the queen mother.

Nov 13, 1432 death of Anne of Burgundy, Countess of Bedford.

Anne was born in 1404. Her father was John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Her mother was Margaret of Bavaria. She was the seventh of their eight children. He father died in 1419 and her only brother Philip became Philip III, known as the Good.

In 1423 her marriage was arranged to John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. John was the 34 year old regent of France. John was the son of Henry IV of England. When his elder brother Henry V died in 1422 he left an 11 month old son as king, Henry VI. In his nephew's minority John had been appointed regent to France. The marriage was meant to cement the alliance between her brother and the English. The support of Burgundy had been crucial for the English in their power in France.

Anne was 19 when they married. Though the couple were married for nine years sadly it remained childless. By all reports though the couple were very happily married. Anne sadly died from the plague in 1432 in Paris.

Her tomb was at the Convent des Celestines. Unfortunately the convent was desecrated during the french revolution. Parts of her tomb, which were famous, are in the Louvre and the Musee de Cluny. Her remains were recovered, and after being identified, were transferred to Dijon Cathedral where they were buried with those of her grandfather Philip the Bold.


The alliance between Burgundy and England didn't outlive Anne by much. Her husband married Jacquetta of Luxembourg the following year. Philip was opposed to his former brother in law's new marriage, and it led to tension. Eventually in 1435 Philip made peace with Charles VII of France, and ended his alliance with the English for good.

John's second marriage was short lived, as he died in September 1435. He was buried in the Cathedral of Rouen next to Henry the Young King. His tomb was destroyed by Calvinists in the 1500s but a plaque now marks the place.

John's widow Jacquetta would go on to have 14 children with her second husband, one being Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV.
The discovery of the coffin of Anne de Bourgogne, Duchess of Burgundy at the remains of the couvent des Célestins in 1847 were a stroke of luck .Sadly only fragments of her once magnificent tomb survive and are on display at the Louvre museum .The chapel of the couvent des Célestins which was used as a burial site for cadet branches of the French RF was destroyed by mobs during the French Revolution and most of the tombs were desecrated and smashed.

The Tomb of Anne de Bourgogne, Duchess of Burgundy in 1730
14th of November 1522 : Death of Anne de France,Duchess de Bourbon.

Anne was the eldest child of Louis XI and Charlotte de Savoie,following her fathers deaths she ruled France as Regent from 1483 until 1491.Known as "Madame la Grande" she was the most powerful woman in France.Anne had married Pierre de Beaujeu future duke of Bourbon in 1473 ,the only surviving child was a daughter Suzanne who succeeded her father to the dukedom in 1503.Anne died at the Chateau of Chantelle in the Bourbonnais.Her remains are buried at the Priory of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Souvigny along side her husband and daughter.The Prior served as the principal burial site for the then ducal house of Bourbon.


On this day, November 15, 1498 ~ Birth of Eleanor of Austria, Queen of France, wife of King Francis I of France
On this day, November 15, 1498 ~ Birth of Eleanor of Austria, Queen of France, wife of King Francis I of France

She was also Queen of Portugal. The wife of Miguel I as his third wife (his first two were his Aunts).

I put her in the Spanish thread as she married into both France and Portugal.
Queen Eléonore who left France in 1548 was very close with her brother the Emperor and sister ,Mary queen of Hungary.The all retired to Spain in 1556 and died with in a couple of months of each other.
On this day 16th of November 1528 : Birth of Jeanne d'Albret future queen of Navarre.

Jeanne was the daughter of Henri II of Navarre and Marguerite d'Angoulême,she was also the niece of François Ier of France.As the niece of the French king Jeanne was educated in France and had her own household at the Château de Plessis-lez-Tours.In October 1548 she married Antoine de Bourbon,Duke of Vendôme and this union produced 2 surviving children Catherine de Bourbon and Henri IV of France.Following the death of her father in 1555 Jeanne succeeded him as Queen of Navarre and the various other titles held by the House of Albret.


On this day 17th of November 1562 : Death of Antoine de Bourbon,King of Navarre and Duke of Vendôme.

Antoine was buried at the Collégiale Saint-Georges de Vendôme which was the principal burial site for the ducal house of Vendôme .The church was ransacked and pillaged in September 1792 and later torn down during the French Revolution.


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