Friday, October 2, 2015

Biography - Princess Claude de France 1499-1524 could not become queen, so was married to her cousin who would become king


Claude de France (1499-1524) was a princess & queen consort of France & ruling Duchess of Brittany. She was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France & Anne, Duchess of Brittany.


1530-40 Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514) by Corneille de Lyon Corneille de Lyon (c.1500-75)

Because her mother, Anne, Duchess of Brittany, had no surviving sons, Claude became heiress to the Duchy of Brittany.


Francis I King of France (1594-1547)

French nobles urged Claude's father Louis XII to marry Claude to her cousin Francis, Duke of Angoulême, "who is at least all French," & was also the heir-presumptive to the French crown. In 1506, the 6-year-old Claude was betrothed to Francis. In 1514, when her mother died, Claude became Duchess of Brittany.


Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514) Jean Clouet (1475–1540)

In 1514, on 18th of May Francis married, to Claude of France. Because of the Salic Law that stated that women could not inherit the throne of France, the throne passed to Francis I at the death of Louis XII, as he was the descendant of the eldest surviving male line of the Capetian Dynasty.


Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514)

Claude, the pawn of so much dynastic maneuvering since she was born, was short in stature & afflicted with scoliosis, which gave her a hunched back. She was eclipsed at court by her mother-in-law, Louise of Savoy, & her sister-in-law, the literary Marguerite, Queen consort of Navarre.


Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514)

When Francis became King in 1515, 2 of Claude's ladies-in-waiting were the English sisters Mary & Anne Boleyn, & another was Diane de Poitiers. Mary became the king's mistress before returning home in about 1519.


Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514)

Claude's life was spent in an endless round of annual pregnancies. Meanwhile, her husband was busy with his many mistresses, but he was usually relatively discreet. Claude imposed a strict moral code on her own personal household.


Claude de France (1499-1524) Duchesse de Bretagne, reine de France (1514) with her children

Claude died in 1524, when she was only 24. She was initially succeeded as ruler of Brittany by her eldest son, the Dauphin Francis, who became Duke Francis III, with Claude's widower King Francis I as guardian. After the Dauphin's death in 1536, Claude's 2nd son, later became King of France as Henry II.


1st Child of Claude de France - Louise-Louise, Dauphine of France (1515-1517) by Jean Clouet (1475–1540)

Claude's widowed husband himself remarried several years after Claude's death, to Eleanor of Austria, the sister of Emperor Charles V. The atmosphere at court became even more debauched, & there were rumors that King Francis's death in 1547, was due to syphilis.


2nd Child of Claude de Fance Charlotte, Dauphine of France (1516-1524) by Jean Clouet (1475–1540)


3rd Child of Claude de France - Francis, Duke of Brittany (1518-1536) by Jean Clouet (1475–1540)


4th Child of Claude de France - Henry II, King of France (1519-1559) by Jean Clouet (1475-1540) Married to Catherine de Medici


5th Child of Claude of France - Madeleine (1520-1537) Married James V of Scotland


6th Child of Claude de France - Charles de France (1522-45) Duke of Orleans by Corneille de Lyon (c.1500-75)


7th Child of Claude de France - Margaret, Duchess of Berry (1523-1574) Married Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy


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