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Catherine de' Medici

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This article is about the Reign character Catherine de' Medici you may be looking for the Historical figure Catherine de' Medici.

Catherine de' Medici
Biographical Information
  • Dowager Queen of France
  • Queen of France (formerly)
  • Queen mother
  • Catholicism
  • Alive
Relationship Information
Portrayed By
First Appearance
Last Appearance

Whatever 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 to Mary in Left Behind

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: FrancisCharles, 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 is a member of the House of Medici.

Early LifeEdit

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] Some time later, she gave birth to Francis.

Throughout ReignEdit

Season TwoEdit


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As horrible as she may seem, she is 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. The Queen is also a master when it comes to poison as she has quite an extensive knowledge of it.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Main Article: Catherine de' Medici/Appearance
Catherine has strawberry blonde curly hair which she usually wears tied up in a variety of different buns. She has hazel eyes, fair skin and she is rather short. As the Queen of France in Season One, Catherine always wears a beautiful crown to match her dresses. She always wears beautiful, expensive gowns of various colors & patterns befitting her station as Queen. Her favorite color apparently is red.


Richard DelacroixEdit

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Richard was Catherine lover while she was married to Henry, Clarissa was born from this affair before Francis was born. Richard eventually left court by Catherine "exiling" him so no one would suspect their relationship. When in reality they still loved each other. Richard then returned to court seemingly to help Henry proove Catherine gulty, when her infact wanted to help her. She said she would always love him best and he her. (See Catherine and Richard)

Henry IIEdit

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)


Catherine and Francis have a loving mother and son relationship, and deeply care and love each other. Catherine has always protected and loved her son even when the two come to disagree. (See Catherine and Francis)


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.


Clarissa is Queen Catherine's illigetimate daughter from her affair with Richard. Clarissa kidnapped Charles and Henry Jr. in "Royal Blood" after she goes through Catherine's things and discovers that she has siblings...she holds them hostage in the woods, and puts a knife to Charles' throat threatening to kill him. Clarissa also saves her mother's life in "Inquisition" after the incident with the poison. Clarissa was known as "The Castle Ghost" and was responsible for Aylee's death. 

Mary StuartEdit

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. 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. (See Mary and Catherine)

Medici CousinsEdit

Francesca de' Medici is Catherine's cousin who showed up in "Inquisition" to assist her with her defense after they learn that Catherine has been accused of adultery. It's Francesca who gives her the poison pellet after she is convicted and imprisoned. 

Pietro de' Medici is another one of Catherine's cousins who showed up to help dispute the adultery charges against the Queen. 

Cortenza de' Medici is Catherines cousin who was apparently a sutable bride for Henry; however Henry chose Catherine over her. In "Higher Ground" when Catherine is kidnapped, and she demands the head of who is responsible...Mary has Cortenza executed and her head delivered to the Queen's chambers. 


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. (See Catherine and Nostradamus)

Flying SquadEdit

The Flying Squad are a group of noble ladies who serve Queen Catherine. These young women are seen as ladeis in waiting; however they mostly spy for the Queen and report back to her. Catherine made it  clear that her flying squad are friends of hers and she does not trust them. 


Sebastian is Catherne's stepson as the illegitimate son of her husband. The Queen really doesn't have an isssue with Bash until he is named heir to the French throne over her son Francis which occurs when Mary decides to wed Bash instead in order to save Francis from death. Catherine tries many times to get rid of Bash by revealing his pagan background, and by ordering attempts on his life. 

Diane de PoitiersEdit

Diane de Poitiers is the favorite mistress of Catherine's husband King Henry as well as Sebastian's mother, Catherine does not like Diane too much as this affair has been going on since she has been married. Catherine tries to get rid of Diane by telling Henry about her secret plot to have Bash legitimized, by revealing that she is a pagan, and by blackmailling her into leaving or else risk Henry knowing her secret.



  • 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.



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