Catherine de Medici Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1519 - 1589 *** Full Name: Catherina Maria Romula di Lorenzo de’ Medici *** Occupation: Italian Noblewoman who became Queen of France *** Date of Birth: Catherine de’ Medici was born on April 13th 1519 *** Place of Birth: Catherine de’ Medici was born in Florence, Republic of Florence *** Family background: Her father was Lorenzo II de’ Medici and her mother was Madeleine da La Tour d’Auvergne both of her parents were of noble birth. Her father and his family were all in the banking industry. Although her father had been made the Duke of Urbino, Catherine was still of somewhat of low birth but thankfully her mother was from an ancient French family which raised her status considerably *** Early life and childhood: She grew up in a very strict Catholic family *** Education: Catherine de’ Medici would have been very well educated ***
Catherine de Medici Fact 1:
Catherine de’ Medici was born on
April 13th 1519 and during the 16th
century period in history when
Portugal and Spain were exploring
the oceans of the world and
colonizing new lands. Between France
and Florence there was a perpetual
power struggle between the ruling
Catherine de Medici Fact 3:
Initially cared for her paternal
grandmother, Alfonsina Orsini, she
however died in 1520 and Catherine
was sent to life with her aunt
Catherine de Medici Fact 9: Over the course of the next ten years of their marriage Prince Henry had no interest in his wife and no children were produced. Henry however, had a succession of mistresses and one produced a daughter. Having lost her fortune, she lost her standing at the Royal Court and with Henry able to produce a child the pressure on Catherine was palpable to produce a Royal baby and secure her future.
Catherine de Medici Fact 10: When Henry’s older brother and heir to the throne died unexpectedly leaving Henry as Dauphine, the pressure for Catherine to have a child became critical. The King was receiving all sorts of advice to put Catherine aside for the sake of the country. Catherine began trying any number of old wives tales to become pregnant and finally, in January of 1544 produced their first son, Francis.
Catherine de Medici Fact 11:
Having finally produced one child
the Catherine had no trouble
conceiving again and would provide
her husband with a total of ten
children of which six survived.
Their marriage however did not
improve with the production of
children, Henry had fallen in love
with a woman twice his age but still
showed Catherine the respect her
Catherine de Medici Fact 17: At the death of her husband, their eldest son Francis II became King at fifteen and although he was considered old enough to rule by himself he nevertheless included his mother in virtually all of his decisions.
Catherine de Medici Fact 18: Her fist task with what little power she was given by her son was to oust Diana from the Chataeu de Chenonceau and forced her to return all of the crown jewels back to the crown.
Catherine de Medici Fact 19:
Unfortunately, Francis developed an
abscess or infection in his ear of
which he died on December 5th 1560
and her second son Charles became
King but at nine years of age he was
too young to rule on his own and his
mother was appointed governor of
France by the Privy Council.
Catherine de Medici Fact 21: Unlike his brothers before him, Henry came to the throne a grown man and within two days of his coronation he married Louise de Lorraine-Vaudemont. Henry’s popularity amongst his people was not great and so Catherine set herself the task of trying to improve this. Over the ensuring years she did all in her humble power to pacify her country. However, religious battles that had been raging for decades between the Catholics and the Huguenots would continue to tear France apart.
Catherine de Medici Fact 22:
Catherine died on January 5th 1589
aged sixty nine years.
Short Facts about Catherine de Medici for Kids
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