Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, Queen of France

The Freelance History Writer

“She scarcely appeared to be sensitive to the glare of her happiness. Henri was shocked by this prodigious indifference.” Written by the contemporary historian Fontanieu

Dowager Queen Catherine de’Medici was doing everything within her power to find a bride for her son Henri. Under consideration were Dona Juana, sister of King Philip II of Spain, Philip’s daughter and Henri’s niece Isabella Clara Eugenia, Henri’s widowed sisters-in-law Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth of Austria, Queen Elizabeth I of England or even a Swedish or Danish princess. None of these possibilities panned out. Then Henri did the unthinkable. He chose his own bride, the daughter of a minor house of French nobility.

Because Henri was the third son of King Henri II, there was little chance he would sit on the throne of France. In 1573, the Polish kingdom was looking for a ruler and elected Henri as their king. In…

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