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...

Valentina Visconti, Duchess d’Orléans: a devoted wife falsely accused of witchcraft

Valentina Visconti was born in Milan in 1370 or 71 to Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the 1st Duke of Milan, and his first spouse, Isabelle de Valois. Isabelle was a daughter of King Jean II the Good (le Bon) and his first wife, Bonne de Luxembourg. The girl’s name was unusual...

Jean de Valois, Duke de Berry: though a politician, but more a devout art collector

Jean de Valois, Duke de Berry (known as Jean the Magnificent) was born on the 30th of November 1340 (died on the 15th of June 1416). Jean had many titles: he was Duke de Berry and d’Auvergne, as well as Count de Poitiers and de Montpensier. He was the 3rd...

Charles d’Orléans: life, poetry, incarceration

Charles d’Orléans was born in Paris at Hôtel Saint-Pol on the 24th of November 1394. It was a bad irony that he first saw the world on the next day after his father’s barbaric assassination in the dark street of Paris upon the orders of Jean the Fearless, Duke of...

The brutal murder of Louis I d’Orléans in the streets of Paris

Today is a tragic day: another anniversary of the brutal assassination of Louis I d’Orléans, the second surviving son of King Charles V of France known as the Wise (le Sage) and his consort, Jeanne de Bourbon.  Louis was a younger brother to King Charles VI called the Mad (le...

Jeanne d’Albert, Queen of Navarre: her childhood and first marriage

Jeanne d’Albert was born at Château de Fontainebleau on the 7th of January 1528 (she died on the 16th of November 1528 in Paris, France, at the age of 43).  This wonderful princess, later Queen of Navarre in her own right, deserves several articles dedicated to her, for she lived...

Eleanor of Austria: a daughter of illustrious parents, a marriage pawn

It is not enough to have illustrious parents and lineages to be happy.  The life of a queen, a princess, or a royal descendant did not belong to her: from her birth, a royal girl was a valuable commodity in the European marriage market, especially if her parents were the...

Charlotte de Savoy: a virtuous and traditional Queen of France

Charlotte de Savoy, a daughter of Duke Louis de Savoy and his wife, Anne of Cyprus, was born on the 11th of November 1441 or 1443.  She was one of her parents’ 19 children; 14 of them survived into adulthood.  Although the House of Savoy often intermarried with their French...

Marriage of Catherine de’ Medici and Prince Henri, Duke d’Orléans

Royal weddings were rarely fascinating fairytales of love – they aimed to foster allegiances and cement alliances.  Soon after his return home, Prince Henri, Duke d’Orléans (future King Henri II of France), found himself at the center of his father King François I’s marial plans for him.  Henri and his...

The meeting of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with François I of France in Calais

Imagine that we are in the city of Calais in Tudor England.  This place had a special meaning for King Henry VIII because it was the last remnant of the once substantial English possessions on the continent.  King Henry and his beloved Anne Boleyn sailed to Calais to meet with...

Claude de Lorraine, Duke de Guise: founder of the House of Guise

Claude de Lorraine, who was also known as Claude de Guise, was born the 20th of October 20, 1496 at Château de Condé in Condé (now this place is called Custines in north-eastern France), in Lorraine.  He had an eventful life, having been a favorite of King François I of...