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Prince Louis, Duke of Orleans was a Prince of France and Duke of Orleans from 1549-1550
A new Prince arrives Edit
Prince Louis de France was born at the Château de Fontainebleau on February 3, 1549 as the second son and 4th child of King Henry II and his wife Queen Catherine de Medici. Like his other siblings Louis was given over to the care of his father's main mistress Diane de Poitiers. Just 4 months after giving birth to her new son, Catherine was officially crowned Queen of France.
Heir to the throne and a Duchy Edit
Because French Salic law prohibited females from inheriting the French throne, Louis immediately became Louis III, Duke of Orleans, and the next heir to his parent's throne after his elder brother the future Francis II. The King and Queen also wanted their son to become the next Duke of Urbino, a title which belonged exclusively to Catherine's family: The House of Medici.
Debates on Death Edit
There are varying accounts as to when Louis died: one account states that in October of 1549 after having a splendid christening at the Chateau de Saint Germaine en Laye, the infant Prince died at Mantes-la-Jolie after catching a chill that came from being handed from one state functionary to another. Others dismiss this account and give his baptism date as May 19, 1549, his death as occurring in 1550, and even listing his godparents as: John III of Portugal, Mary of Guise and Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferra.
Had Louis lived, he would have become the next King of France instead of Francis in 1560. Instead, his younger brother Charles became king, but he had just one daughter: Marie-Elisabeth of Valois who died at the age of only 6, and would not have been able to inherit the throne anyway because she was female. Charles died from tuberculosis at the age of 23, so his youngest brother Edward Alexander was crowned King Henry III and married Princess Louise of Lorraine; however they had no children. As a result of the lack of heirs The House of Valois ceased to exist, and Henry IV of France became King of Navarre: the first king from the House of Bourbon.