A Timeline of events in the life of Prince Charles
- June 27, 1550 King Henry II of France, and his wife Queen Catherine de Medici welcome their 3rd son and 5th child; Prince Charles Maximilian at the Royal Chateau de Saint Germain en Laye. He is made Duke of Orleans at birth.
- June 10, 1559 Charles loses his father King Henry to septicemia after he is fatally injured in a jousting accident. His older brother Francis is crowned King Francis II.
- December 5, 1560 After only 17 months on the throne; Francis dies from an ear infection at the age of only 16. This sad event leaves Charles at only 10 years old as the new King of France.
- May 15, 1561 Prince Charles is crowned King Charles IX of France at the Reims Cathedral. The young King cries during his coronation and is comforted by his mother who is made Regent. Charles' reign is dominated by the French Wars of religion.
- January 1562 With the wars of religion going on with the Huguenot nobles who tried to kidnap his brother Francis; Catherine tries several times to bring reconciliation at the Colloquy at Poissy and, after that failed, made several concessions to the Huguenots in the Edict of Saint-Germain.
- March 1, 1562 The Massacre of Vassy occurs, after some retainers of the House of Guise, hoping to avenge the attempt of Amboise, attacked and killed or wounded over 100 Huguenot worshipers.
- March 19, 1563 The Edict of Amboise is signed by Queen Catherine acting as Regent for her 12 year old son. The edict was signed at the Chateau d' Amboise, and officially ended the first phase of the French Wars of Religion. Moreover, the treaty restored peace to France by guaranteeing the Huguenots religious privileges and freedoms.
- 1567 Another war breaks out after reports of iconoclasm in Flanders prompted Charles to support Catholics there. Huguenots, fearing a Catholic attack was imminent, tried to abduct the 17 year old king at Meaux. The war ends in 1568 with the Peace of Longjumeau.
- 1569 Catherine begins marriage negotiations for Charles with Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor for either one of his daughters Elisabeth or Anna. Since Anna was set to marry King Phillip II of Spain; Catherine agrees to a match between Elisabeth and Charles.
- August 1570 A royal debt and the King's desire to obtain a peaceful solution leads to another truce, which was sealed with the Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which again granted concessions to the Huguenots.
- October 22, 1570 The proxy wedding of Elisabeth and Charles is celebrated at the cathedral of Speyer with her uncle Archduke Ferdinand of Further Austria-Tyrol, standing in for Charles. This union cements an alliance between the Houses of Habsburg and Valois, and also will serve to combat the Protestant Huguenots.
- November 26, 1570 The formal wedding of King Charles IX of France and Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria is celebrated in Mézières. The wedding is a grand affair with the new Queen wearing a wedding gown made of cloth of silver sprinkled with pearls, and her tiara was studded with pearls, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
- Early 1571 Elisabeth falls ill, due to a difficult journey and cold weather. In the spring however a grand celebration complete with feasts and merriment takes place to celebrate the newlyweds. The couple have a loving and warm relationship...despite Charles' longtime mistress Marie Touchet.
- March 25, 1571 Elisabeth is officially crowned Queen of France by the Archbishop of Reims at the Basilica of St. Denis.
- March 29, 1571 4 days after being crowned Queen; Elisabeth officially enters the city of Paris so France can see their new Queen. Elisabeth soon disappears from public life, and is not included in the affairs of French Court.
- January 1572 Charles and Elisabeth are delighted to learn that they are expecting their first child.
- August 24, 1572 The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre takes place, it continues for several days and thousands of Protestant French were slaughtered in Paris. Elisabeth is 7 months pregnant during this time.
- October 27, 1572 King Charles and Queen Elisabeth welcome their first and only child together: Princess Marie Elisabeth of Valois. By this time Charles' health is in decline.
- April 28, 1573 Marie Touchet, longtime mistress to King Charles gives birth to a son: Charles de Valois, Duke of Angoulême.
- 1574 In the aftermath of the massacre, Charles' physical and mental condition weakened drastically. His moods swung from boasting about the extremity of the massacre to exclamations that the screams of the murdered Huguenots kept ringing in his ears.
- Spring 1574 King Charles' condition continues to spiral downward and develops into tuberculosis
- May 30, 1574 King Charles IX of France dies at the age of only 23. Catherine resumes the regency until her other son Prince Edward Alexander returns from Poland. Charles rests in the Basilica of St. Denis with his parents and several of his siblings.