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)....

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...

A forgotten Valois prince: Charles, Count d’Angoulême and father of King François I (part 3)

Let’s speak about genealogy. Count Charles d’Angoulême was not as highly inbred as many of his Valois cousins were. However, how was the count related to his wife, Louis de Savoy? Louise de Savoy was the eldest daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Savoy and his first wife, Marguerite de...

Agnès Sorel: her famous romance with King Charles VII of France (part 2)

Today, on St Valentine’s Day, it is high time to speak about one of the most famous royal love stories – the romance of King Charles VII of France and Agnès Sorel. When and how did the monarch meet the woman who seems to have been the love of his...

Agnès Sorel: life before her meeting with King Charles VII of France (part 1)

Born into a provincial noble family, Agnès Sorel first took by storm the French court of King Charles VII of France in 1444 when she was aged about 20 (she was presumably born in 1422). Agnès died young under rather mysterious circumstances at the age of only 28. Her life...

A forgotten Valois prince: Charles, Count d’Angoulême and father of King François I (part 2)

Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême, spent a lot of money on books. He had a network of agents in Italy, France, and other countries, who purchased rare and old manuscripts for him. The count collected in his library at Château de Cognac. His large library included more than 1000 manuscripts. Charles...

A forgotten Valois prince: Charles, Count d’Angoulême and father of King François I (part 1)

Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême (born in 1459 and died on the 1st of January 1496) was a member of the French Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch of the royal House of Valois.  He was descended from Louis I, Duke d’Orléans, who was the youngest surviving son of King Charles V of France known...