|Catherine de' Medici|
|Home|| Italy (formerly) |
French Court, France (currently)
|Title||Dowager Queen of France|
|Portrayed by||Megan Follows|
|Latest appearance||Slaughter of Innocence|
|“||"What ever has been between us believe me now; believe that I love my son; I would go into hell for him how far will you go?"||”|
Catherine de' Medici (Italian: Caterina de' Medici) is the Dowager Queen Consort of France. She is the widow of Henry and the mother of six children: Francis, Charles, Henry Jr., Elizabeth, Claude, and Clarissa. She is also the mother-in-law of Philip II and Mary Stuart, and the future mother-in-law of Madeleine. She is portrayed by Canadian actress Megan Follows.
Catherine was born into the extremely wealthy Italian House of Medici in Florence. Her parents died of illness when she was young and she was a ward of Pope Clement VII, her first cousin, once removed.
When she was eight, the citizens of Florence rebelled against the Medici, storming the palace where Catherine lived. She was taken hostage and held in a convent for several years, eventually being threatened with rape as a way of spoiling her marriage value for her family. Together with the nuns, she prayed for salvation by the Pope's armies. Eventually she was rescued and embraced by Clement before being taken to Rome. It is unclear if she was actually raped or not.
At age fourteen, Catherine was married to Henry, the second son of the previous King of France. Apparently, Henry chose her over her cousin, Hortensa. Catherine and Henry were initially in love, but Catherine was unaware that Henry was already, also in love with Diane de Poitiers. Over time, Catherine feared being repudiated because she had not produced an heir, so she consulted doctors and coerced Henry into taking different, unpleasant remedies.
During this time, Catherine had an affair with Richard, and had a baby girl with him, who became the castle 'ghost', Clarissa. To avoid questions about the baby's distinguishing birthmark, she gave the baby to Nostradamus' father. Some time later, she gave birth to Francis.
As horrible as she may seem, she is also very loyal to her children and those she loves. She even goes so far as to ruin Mary to save her son Francis from death, and when she has the chance to escape France and flee to Italy she instead stays to find and save her younger sons when they are kidnapped. But she is also somewhat manipulative, and will do whatever it takes if there's something in it for her in the end.
Catherine has strawberry blonde curly hair which she usually wears tied up in a variety of different buns. She has brown eyes and fair skin. She always wears a crown on her head in the first season as she is still the Queen of France at that point. She usually dresses in extravagant and beautiful gowns as a royal normally would.
They were/are the King and Queen of France. They have five children together: Francis, Elizabeth, Claude, Charles, and Henry Jr.. Although they were frequently plotting against each other, they did at times genuinely seem to care about one-another. They declared their love to each other honestly while Henry was on his death bed. (See Henry and Catherine)
Both Catherine and Francis deeply care and love each other. Catherine has always protected and love her son even when the two eventually disagree.
Mary is Queen Catherine's daughter in law as the wife of her son Francis. As a child Mary came to live at French Court and was raised with Catherine's children, however when the English began to threaten her Catherine sent her to the convent to be safe until it was time for her to marry Francis. When Mary returns to court the Queen finds out from Nostradamus that Mary's presence will cost her Francis, and so she resolves to stop at nothing to protect her son from Mary; even going so far as to have Lola's love interest Colin rape Mary which would make her unfit to wed Francis. Catherine and Mary actually come together in "Fated" when the castle is taken hostage and both admit that they would go to hell for Francis, because of their love for him. After the wedding Queen Catherine and Mary seem to find common ground at times and also appear to be at odds.
Nostradamus is the Court Seer upon whom Queen Catherine relies heavily for his counsel. Their relationship is based on the visions that he has concerning Francis which fuel a lot of the Queen's decisions to protect him. However these come to a halt in "The Consummation" when he admits to Catherine that his visions have changed and that he sees Mary and Francis living happily beyond their years, having children etc. since Clarissa turned out to be Catherine's first born child, and Mary killed Clarissa to save Catherine's sons after they were kidnapped. The Queen is furious as she has done much plotting, and there has also been much killing, lying, deceit, shedding of blood etc. all because of Nostradamus' previous visions telling her that she had to protect her son. She promises him that if she can't undo his mistakes that she will see him burned to death.
Elisabeth of Valois (Queen of Spain) is Catherine's eldest daughter whose wedding was celebrated in the "Pilot". We haven't seen a personal relationship between mother and daughter yet.
Princess Claude of Valois: is Catherine's daughter she was the 2nd girl and 3rd child born to her marriage. We are going to meet Princess Claude in the coming season and see what her relationship with her mother is going to be like.
Prince Charles is Catherine's son. She is seen arranging his upcoming marriage in "Snakes in the Garden" and in "Royal Blood" when Charles and his little brother Henry Jr. are kidnapped the Queen stops at nothing to find them though she is condemned to death.
|Snakes in the Garden||Appears|
|Hearts and Minds||Appears|
|A Chill in the Air||Appears|
|For King and Country||Appears|
|Long Live The King||Appears|
|Slaughter of Innocence||Appears|
- Catherine is a feminine given name. It derives from the Greek name Αικατερινη (Aikaterine). The etymology is debated: it could derive from the earlier Greek name ‘Εκατερινη (Hekaterine), which came from ‘εκατερος (hekateros) "each of the two"; it could derive from the name of the goddess HECATE; it could be related to Greek αικια (aikia) "torture"; or it could be from a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name". In the early Christian era it became associated with Greek καθαρος (katharos) "pure", and the Latin spelling was changed from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this.
- Her full name was Caterina Maria Romula di Lorenzo de' Medici.
- One of the biggest benefits to Catherine's marriage negotiations with Henry was her maternal heritage: her mother Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, was from the House of La Tour d'Auvergne one of the most prominent and ancient French Noble Families.
- Catherine was quite wealthy as a child; not only from the Medici, but also from the inheritance she received from the maternal side of her family. When Catherine and Henry married her inheritance passed to the French Crown.
- The House of Medici was a powerful Italian family in the 15th century. She was a noblewoman.
- Catherine was never able to rule France as a Monarch due to the Salic Law which restricted succession to men.
- Diane de Poitiers (Her husband's mistress) and Catherine were actually cousins.
- In the show, Catherine has a bastard daughter Clarissa but historically there is no evidence of her.
- In reality, Catherine was in love with Henri since meeting him, and more so when they married and it is highly unlikely she ever had an affair due to the fact royals did not have private lives.
- Catherine was so crushed by Henry's death, that she wore black mourning for the rest of her life and as her emblem kept a piece of the broken lance inscribed with the words "From this come my tears and my pain"
- The real Catherine was a distant, if indulgent, mother when her children were young, and their care was actually overseen by Diane de Poitiers who employed the governess. There is debate as to why, but it may be to do with the way royal children were raised at the time and also due to Henry's reliance on, and love for, Diane.
- Catherine served as official regent for her son Charles IX whilst he was a child, and later Henry III whilst he was coming back from Poland where he'd been elected King.
- She died at the age of 69 years.
- Catherine was a huge patron of the arts, and created many projects while Queen and after Henry's death, especially ballet
- In Royal Blood, it is shown she and Henry have another daughter called Claude.
- As cruel as she seems she would do anything for her children, and she is fiercely loyal to those she loves
- She relies on Nostradamus and believes his prophesies.
- The story of Catherine's imprisonment by Florence is historically true. She spent several years held in a convent when Florence rebelled against the Medici. The leaders of Florence even discussed having her raped so she would lose political value as a marriage pawn, or having her killed by lowering her over the walls in a basket where she would be fired upon. Neither thing happened as she was ultimately deemed too valuable.
Catherine de' Medici has a photo gallery.