|“||I know that you mean well. Your actions have always been motivated by your devotion towards me.||”|
— Francis to Catherine in In a Clearing
The relationship between Catherine and Francis. They had loving mother-son relationship. Catherine was willing to protect her son no matter what. Their relationship came to a head in the season two finale. However recently, Catherine and her beloved son reconciled. Currently Catherine is mourning the loss of her son, as he has died after sustaining head trauma while saving Mary from a gang of assassins.
Francis was Henry and Catherine's first child born 10 years into their marriage. Catherine is very protective, and loyal when it comes to her children, especially Francis since historically he was her first child. In Left Behind, Catherine makes quite clear her position when it comes to Francis when she tells Mary that she would go to hell for her son if it meant protecting him. Francis doesn't always approve of his mother's methods, but he eventually comes to understand that she loves him more than anything, and that she has been and will always be on his side.
In the Pilot, as the everyone in the French Court prepares to celebrate the wedding of his sister, Elisabeth, Francis inquires of his parents if they have chosen his wedding date as they have chosen his wife also. Henry comments that Francis will marry when he says so; however when he leaves Queen Catherine tells her son that his wedding won't happen until she says so, then she tells him that she is and will always be on his side.
In Snakes in the Garden, Francis confronts his mother about her supposed plotting against Mary; though Catherine tries to tell her son that her true loyalty lies with her family, children, and France, and Francis is all of these things, he warns his mother that if anything happens to Mary he will suspect her, never forgive her, and that she will lose him.
When the castle is taken hostage in Left Behind, Francis offers himself up as ransom to save his mother, Mary, and the others at court. Catherine tries to discourage her son from doing this as the Count plans to take not only him but her younger sons also. Francis saves his mother with Mary's help when the Count tries to kill her after his men drop dead from touching the poison gold and he didn't.
In Fated, Catherine tries again to discourage Francis from marrying Mary.
In For King and Country, Francis tries to help his mother understand why he loves Mary so much and why she is trying to drive them apart.
In The Consummation, Catherine tells Francis to forget everything she did to protect him as the visions have changed and that she sees no reason why him and Mary can't be happy. She promises him that she will no longer stand in the way of their relationship. Queen Catherine later watches her beloved son wed the woman he loves: Mary.
In Liege Lord, Francis discovers that Mary is trying to blackmail his mother after a secret clause is discovered in the marriage contract.
In Long Live The King, Queen Catherine and Mary work to save Francis after they realize that Henry plans to kill him and wed Mary so he can have England.
In Slaughter of Innocence, Francis together with his mother and wife plan a coup due to Henry's increasing madness; later Queen Catherine watches in horror as a jouster puts a lance through her husband's face shield, however she doesn't know that the person responsible is her own son Francis.
In The Plague, with the outbreak of the Black Plague spreading through France and in French court; Catherine is horrified to learn that Francis is out among the infected instead of safe at the castle, though she has no idea why she suspects it has something to do with Lola who is also missing. Later her fears are increased when Nostradamus tells her that the mill where Francis was last seen has burned to the ground and there were no apparent survivors.
In Drawn and Quartered, Catherine is pleased to see her son return home safely, and talks to him about claiming his son by Lola or else risk being estranged from him for life, she can tell her son is frustrated, but she is only talking to him as his supportive mother. Later She and Francis confront Mary about her actions that led to the death of Narcisse's son.
In Coronation, Catherine talks with Francis about the plans for his coming coronation, and she tries to school him on the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the Nobles in France as they are the real power behind the Monarchy remaining on the throne. Later Catherine watches proudly as her son is crowned the new King of France.
In The Lamb and the Slaughter, Francis objects to the major celebration his mother is planning for the christening of her grandson; however this is how it must be done since Francis is claiming him publicly. Mother & son also reminisce about the christenings of his younger siblings. Later Catherine bursts into Francis & Mary's chambers jumping out of her skin with happiness about her new unborn grandchild.
In Blood for Blood, Catherine tries to help her son deal with the growing conflict between the Catholics & Protestants, as well as the danger of making the Catholics angry as they may turn on and lose respect for their King while the Protestants may decide they want his power and try to take it from him.
In Three Queens, Francis discovers the attack on his mother's carriage, and that she and his wife have gone missing, and immediately enlists every guard and noble available including Louis Condé to help find them. Later Francis does find his mother, and upon returning to the castle Catherine talks to her son about how important it is to be open and honest with his wife, and how he must trust her, and stop shutting her out or else he may lose her.
In The Prince of the Blood, Catherine joins Francis in welcoming home his sister Claude. Later she is seen helping her son decipher a tactic used by English spies, that may bring about the end of Narcisse as this could be seen as treason.
In Acts of War, Francis returns to the castle and goes to his and Mary's chambers, he finds his mother with her. Francis is unaware of what has happened, and before she leaves Catherine tells her son that his wife needs space, time, and that all he need do is listen to her.
In Mercy, Catherine tells her son that if he doesn't track down his wife's rapist then she will be looking over her shoulder and behind every door for the rest of her life. Later when Francis is preparing to go hunt for the men responsible, his mother and Bash tell him how the prisoners panicked and killed two of the guards. The men who killed the guards can't be identified; however Francis commands for all of them to hang though his mother says that the prisoners panicked because they foresee death at his command. Francis asks his mother if she is defending them, and Catherine assures her son that she is doing no such thing, but only advising him to choose his next move carefully because whether he chooses to dole out mercy or to crush them all; there is no turning back from the choice he makes.
In Sins of the Past, Catherine is dead set against Francis giving money to Antoine, because of the long bad history between the Houses of Valois and Bourbon, and because she and Henry warned their son about them. Francis refuses to listen to his mother by saying that he wants to find out what's going on in Navarre. Later Francis bursts into his mother's chambers demanding to know why she didn't tell him about Clarissa; however when Catherine asks if someone has seen her Francis demands for her to spill what she knows. Catherine admits that Nostradamus told her of Clarissa being alive, but she was unsure if he was trying to hurt her as he said that the prophecy was unfulfilled, and worries if it's true. Francis says that it is true, and suddenly begins bleeding from his eyes. Catherine leaps up in horror and catches her son as he gasps for air then collapses in her arms. The terrified Queen screams for help scared that her son is dying before her very eyes, but when Mary and 2 maids enter the room it's revealed that Catherine is not holding anyone, and says that she has had a vision.
A short time later Francis has his mother examined by a doctor, concerned that she is not well after hearing from Bash about her talking to people who weren't there and the situation with Claude; Francis and the others are shocked to hear the doctor suggest that Catherine has contracted syphilis from her husband due to his excessive cheating. Francis insists his mother needs rest, but she grabs her son's hand and tells him that she is scared about the cures as they can help or kill someone, and she doesn't want to be remembered as a Queen with syphilis. Francis tries to reassure his mother that she will be just fine; however Catherine tells her son that if she dies to say that she died of tuberculosis while saving orphans.
In Forbidden, Catherine has a talk with her son Francis about the status of his relationship with Mary, and tells him that any visits to his wife's bedchamber must be witnessed, because if Mary should fall pregnant there can be absolutely no question about who the father is, because the court knows they are living apart. Later however Francis tells his mother that his marriage to Mary is over, and that they will not be having an heir. Catherine notices her son's sadness and tells him that she is very fond of Mary, knows how much Francis loves her, and hopes for Mary's sake that they do reconcile; however she says that if they don't her main concern in this unfortunate situation is Francis' happiness since he is her child. Francis listens as his mother tells him that since he wears the crown, if he has no joy or happiness in this life then its weight will crush his spirit into dust, and she clearly does not want this to happen to her son. Catherine finally says that no matter what he decides to do she will support him and be by his side, and if there is anyone in court who brings him joy then he should let himself have it.
In Tempting Fate, Catherine discovers that Mary is openly cheating on her son with Conde; however when she tries to tell Francis what she knows he shuts his mother down and lies to her by saying that Mary isn't cheating with Conde. Francis further says that Mary wouldn't do this because she knows it would mean death for both her and Louis, Francis warns his mother to say nothing to Mary, Louis or anyone. Later Catherine is telling Francis of: Mary's plans to run off to Scotland with Conde, that they must be stopped, that Mary would listen to Francis, and that this would mean trouble for France. However Francis says nothing, and suddenly to Catherine's horror her son collapses before her very eyes, Catherine rushes to him and screams for help as guards come rushing in the room to help her. In her chambers Catherine is beside herself with worry as she tells Narcisse that her sons Charles and Henry are too young to rule; however the true reason for her panic is the vision Nostradamus foretold in Season One: That Mary would cost Francis his life. Catherine is terrified that the vision is coming true, and she is more horrified still at the very thought of losing her beloved son; however Narcisse tries to calm her by saying that Francis has a mere ear infection, is sleeping soundly, and is going to be fine.
In Reversal of Fortune,Catherine is beside herself with worry about the condition of her son Francis who collapsed before her eyes and has been unconscious for some time. The doctors prepare the Queen for the worst case scenario that Francis may be dead by the late night. The Queen spends hours by her son's bedside praying for him to wake up; when Mary returns to court Catherine rips into her for cheating on her son. Later Catherine receives news that her son is finally awake, and is shocked at his decision to help Mary defend Scotland by sending French troops to help her; however Francis says that his decision is final and tells his mother to leave him and Mary alone to talk in private.
In Abandoned, Queen Catherine helps her son Francis with a crisis concerning the sons of French Nobles who are being held hostage by radicals. The Nobles are quite angry with the King and worried about getting their children back; however Catherine shoos them out so that Francis can work on saving the children. Later after the first plan fails due to the remaining French soldiers not being fit for this mission, since the ones who are trained happen to be in Scotland defending Mary's throne; Catherine recommends to her son to use the men of General Renaude, who are perfect for handling the radicals and saving the children. Francis is reluctant to take his mother's advice since these men are loyal to Narcisse; however Bash and Mary agree and urge Francis to take the advice, which he does.
In The Siege, When Queen Catherine learns about Conde's plan to take the castle, she decides to stay behind to help Francis. Though the rest of the royal family is forced to leave for their safety, Catherine tells Francis that she will not need a teary farewell, because with her younger daughter and sons safely off her main concern in this situation is her son and as long as he is in the castle she will be too, she then kisses him and leaves the room. Later Catherine joins Mary and her ladies on the balcony of the castle gate as she watches Francis' one on one meeting with Conde.
In Burn, Queen Catherine is thrilled to hear that the siege is over, that Francis has been victorious, and that he has captured Conde who is being held prisoner in the castle dungeons. Catherine seems happy with the idea of Conde finally being executed for his treasonous behavior; however she is not happy to hear that instead of killing him, Francis plans to use Conde to bargain with Antoine: Francis will let Conde live and send him to Navarre, if they will give up forever their right to the French Throne. In this act of diplomacy Francis hopes to avoid the war he believes will happen if he kills Conde; however Catherine warns her son that the Bourbon brothers will try to attack again and will never concede to give up their claim to France. Catherine asks her son why he never listens to her council, but Francis refuses to budge; later however, Catherine goes a bit too far when she conspires to have Lola and her grandson Jean Philippe kidnapped so that Francis will finally kill Conde. Francis eventually finds out about this and the furious King feels that if his mother had given birth to peasants and someone offered her a monarchy; that she would murder her own children in an instant. Catherine protests heavily as she tells her son that this is in no way true, since her children especially Francis are her very life and that she loves him; however Francis will hear none of it as he tells his mother that: she is no mother and certainly not a Queen mother, that she will never be welcome at French Court again, that she is stripped of her title, home, lands, and income, and is exiled from court.
In Three Queens, Two Tigers, Francis hears about a horrible accident at an estate in Tuscany, Italy where his mother is apparently living while in exile: Catherine and her lover were making love in a windmill; when their position moved a lever, and as a result the lover was castrated and killed. More news follows when the messenger reports that Catherine was consumed by such grief and guilt that she hanged herself and that Catherine de Medici is dead. Francis finds this to be laughable, and realizes that his mother is in England, and that she is behind the notices that got to the Vatican about Mary's adultery. Later Catherine is captured, and brought before Mary; when she sees her son come as well; Francis is not happy with his mother, and tells the guards to take her. Francis watches as the guards put his mother in a cage on wheels...and on the other side of that cage is a very real, live tiger; Catherine is terrified and screams quite loudly as Francis just watches as Mary locks her in the cage, and hits her with a whip, as the tiger tries to get her with its huge paws; however there are only wooden bars keeping the huge cat from ripping her to shreds. Francis then watches as his mother is led away.
In Betrothed, Francis admits to his mother that he is indeed dying; this news fills Catherine with worry, fear and grief.
In Extreme Measures, Francis and his mother finally reconcile, after she threatens the English Ambassador to destroy Elizabeth if he doesn't end the deal he made with Antoine, and convince him to give up the Bourbon claim to the French throne. Catherine apologizes to her son for not being the mother that he needed her to be, and that she has tried her best though she has done horrible things. Francis understands this, and knows that in her own way she has done what she could to try and be a good mother. Catherine then kisses her son and leaves him to rest.
In The Price, Francis threatens his mother with returning her to the dungeon if she does not secure enough votes from the Privy Council so that she will become Regent. He says that if she loses that he will throw her back in a cell, and find a Regent who will secure Charles' rule in France. Later when Francis falls seriously ill, Mary suggests calling his mother, but Francis refuses to see her.
In In a Clearing, A very happy Queen Catherine, sets to redecorate her son's room so that it will be a more romantic and cheerful for him and Mary. She asks her son what he thinks of his new room, and Francis tells his mother that she's being excessive and wants her to stop. However Catherine is grateful to Delphine for saving her son's life, and plans on redecorating her chambers next, because she thought she had lost him forever. Francis tells his mother to be honest with him about coveting the Regency; Catherine admits that it's a good job for someone who always wanted to be right, but as it turns out a lot of people despise her. The loving mother tells her son that she would never want to rule if it meant losing him and "What is France without my Francis?"
Later that day after meeting with Nostradamus and hearing about another prophecy that Francis may be in great danger, Catherine immediately goes to her son to tell him her concerns. In his chambers, Francis is curious as to just what his mother is talking about, however Catherine can only explain what Nostradamus told her, she further says that she believes her son is in danger, and how can he think that she doesn't know that his health is not fully recovered when she is his mother. Francis doesn't believe it as Catherine urges her son to be safe, and when he asks how she tells him to surround himself with guards and not leave the castle; however Francis will not be confined and tells his mother that he will not hide waiting for a dream of his death, that he is living his life, and not being reckless. Catherine says that the illness and everything Francis has been through has changed him, but Francis says maybe he has changed but he wants to: visit the Matterhorn, sail everyday with Mary until the snow comes, visit the Verdon Gorge, and he promises to take every precaution for the sake of the people he loves including his mother. Francis tells his mother that he knows she means well as her actions have always been motivated by her devotion to him and her other children. Catherine kisses her son's hands and tells him that it's her devotion to him, and that while she shouldn't play favorites, Francis is her golden child and that she can't and won't lose him. Francis looks into his mother's eyes, seeing her love for him and tells her that she can't keep him in a cage not even one made from love. He then kisses his mother and leaves the room as she begins to have tears in her eyes.
Later that afternoon while sitting in her private study, there is a knock at the door; Bash and several guards enter and from the look on his face she knows that something is horribly wrong. Catherine bids Bash to speak, and with tears in his eyes he tells her that it's Francis. Moments later, Queen Catherine along with Bash, the guards and Nostradamus enter the clearing where she sees her beloved son on the ground dead with Mary weeping over his body. Catherine goes over to her and holds her as she sobs over Francis. Later at the funeral at the castle, Catherine cries over the loss of her son.
- Francis is Catherine's favorite son.
- Francis is Catherine's first son with King Henry II but he is her second child as she had a bastard daughter, Clarissa, with Richard Delacroix.
- Historically, Francis was born 11 years and 3 months into his parent's marriage.
- Catherine has always been willing to risk everything for her children; especially Francis.
- As of the Season Two Finale Burn Francis and Catherine's relationship has come to a head, since she has been exiled from French Court for arranging the kidnapping of Lola and her grandson.
- Catherine and Francis may be headed for a reconciliation, as she has returned to French Court.
- In Extreme Measures, Catherine and her beloved son reconciled; after she was released and apologized to him for not being the mother he wanted her to be.
- Catherine is mourning the death of Francis which occurred in In a Clearing
- Catherine is currently under suspicion that she might have killed her own son in order to become Regent.
- Mary is helping Catherine fight these preposterous charges.
- In Our Undoing, Catherine was proven to be innocent of this with the help of Bash. Francis' body had never been cut open or touched since he was buried, so the liver said to belong to him was not his and the poison was planted in Catherine's chambers. It was a set up started by Narcisse so he could rule France.