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Catherine de Medicis

Born: 1519 AD
Died: 1589 AD
Nationality: Italian
Categories: Queen

1519 – Born on April 13th in Florence, France. The queen consort of Henry II of France and subsequently regent of France, who was one of the most influential personalities of the Catholic–Huguenot wars. Three of her sons were kings of France: Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III.

1533 – She was married by her uncle, Pope Clement VII, to Henry, duc d’Orléans.

1552 – Catherine lived privately though she was appointed regent during Henry’s absence at the siege of Metz.

1557 – Her ability and eloquence were acclaimed after the Spanish victory of Saint-Quentin in Picardy, possibly the origin of her perpetual fear of Spain, which remained, through changing circumstances, the touchstone of her judgments.

1559 – Catherine’s first great political crisis came in July upon the accidental death of Henry II, a traumatic bereavement from which it is doubtful that she ever recovered.

1560-1570 – Her essentially moderate influence was first perceptible during the Conspiracy of Amboise, an instance of tumultuous petitioning by the Huguenot gentry, primarily against Guisard persecution in the name of the King.

         – Catherine’s second great political crisis came with the premature death on December 5th, of Francis II, whose royal authority the Guises had monopolized.

         – They witnessed the first three civil wars and her desperate struggle against the Catholic extremists for the independence of the crown, the maintenance of peace, and the enforcement of limited toleration.

1572 – She ordered St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.

1589 – Died on January 5th in Blois, France.