A Lost Prince: Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales

Prince Arthur Tudor was the elder son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York. Destined to become the first husband of Catherine of Aragon in years to come, he was born on the 20th of September 1486 at St Swithun’s Priory in Winchester, England. His birth cemented...

Yolande of Aragon: her mother, Violant de Bar, as a role model

Yolande of Aragon was born on the 11th of August 1384 in Zaragoza, in Aragon. She was the only surviving daughter of King Juan (or John) I of Aragon (born in 1350) and Violant (or Yolande) de Bar (born c 1365). In order not to confuse mother and daughter, I...

Life of Louis II, Duke de Bourbon

Louis II, Duke de Bourbon, called the Good (le Bon) was a prince du sang (a prince of the blood). He was the oldest son of Duke Pierre I de Bourbon, and his spouse, Princess Isabelle de Valois, who was the sister of King Philippe VI the Fortunate (le Fortuné)....

Galeazzo II Visconti: a versatile legacy

Galeazzo II Visconti was a second son of Stefano Visconti and Valentina Doria. His parents had 3 sons: Matteo II, Galeazzo, and Bernabò. After Stefano’s passing in 1327, Galeazzo became Lord of Alessandria, Alba, Asti, Como, Tortona, Novara, Pavia, Vercelli and, together with the siblings Matteo II and Bernabò, co-Lord...

Bonne de Luxembourg: a Queen of France in waiting

Bonne de Luxembourg, first wife of King Jean II the Good (le Bon), was born on the 20th of May 1315. She was the second daughter of John the Blind, King of Bohemia, and his first spouse, Elisabeth of Bohemia. When the baby girl first saw the world, she was...

Suzanne de Bourbon: an intelligent, but sickly, Bourbon heiress

Suzanne de Bourbon was born on the 10th of May 1491 at Château de Châtellerault. Her parents were Pierre II, Seigneur de Beaujeu and later Duke de Bourbon and d’Auvergne, and Anne of France, who both served as co-regents of France during the minority of King Charles VIII of France...

Jeanne of France: a princess better suited to be a nun

Princess Jeanne of France was born on the 23rd of April 1464 (died on the 4th of February 1505) to King Louis XI of France known as the Cunning (le Rusé) or the Universal Spider (l’Universelle Aragne) and his second spouse, Charlotte de Savoy. Jeanne was the 5th couple’s child...

Catherine de’ Medici: birth, loss of parents, and Italian politics

Caterina Maria Romula de’ Medici, who was destined to become Queen of France as wife of King Henri II of France, was born at around 11 o’clock on the 13th of April 1519 in Florence. Her father was a Italian nobleman and scion of the ruling Medici House of Florence...

The Tragedy of Gaston de Foix, a stellar military commander

Gaston de Foix, Duke de Nemours, was born on the 10th of December 1489 to Jean de Foix, Viscount de Narbonne, and his wife, Marie d’Orléans, in the town of Mazères, County of Foix. Gaston was also Count d’Étampes and Viscount de Narbonne, for his father died in 1500. From...

King Jean II of France: family background, personality, and actions

King Jean II of France known as the Good (le Bon) was born on the 16th of April 1319 at Château du Gué-de-Maulny near Le Mans, in France. Given the horrendous troubles his reign brought to France, I think that he should be known not as the Good, but as...

Isabelle de Hainaut: ancestress of the Capetian, Valois, and Bourbon dynasties

Isabelle de Hainaut, Queen of France, was the first wife of King Philippe II of France known as Augustus. She was born in Valenciennes on the 5th of April 1170 to Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, and his wife, Countess Marguerite I of Flanders. Isabelle was their oldest daughter and...

In defense of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wilshire, and Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk

Fiction and popular culture try to make us believe that two iron-hearted villains – their relatives –used Mary and Anne Boleyn to elevate themselves at the court of King Henry VIII. Nonetheless, it is a product of fiction without credible historical evidence. First of all, there is no proof that...

An illustrious sister of Richard the Lionheart and Philippe Augustus

Princess Marie de France, Countess de Champagne, passed away on the 11th of March, 1198. She was the first and oldest daughter of King Louis VII of France known as the Young (‘le Jeune’) and his first and legendary consort – Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, or Aliénor d’Aquitaine. According to...