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Claude of France (November 12, 1547 - February 21, 1575) was the second daughter of King Henry II of France and Queen Catherine de' Medici.
Early life & Childhood Edit
Princess Claude of Valois was born on November 12, 1547 in Fontainebleau, France, as the 2nd daughter & 3rd child born to King Henry II & his wife Queen Catherine de Medici. Claude was raised alongside her sister Elisabeth, the future Queen of Spain, and sister-in-law Queen Mary of Scotland.
The Princess was named in honor of her paternal grandmother: Queen Claude of France who was named after the Saint Claudius of Besançon. Anne, Duchess of Brittany prayed to this Saint while pregnant so that she would have a living child, and when her daughter lived Anne named her Claude.
Personality & Health Edit
The Princess was described as being very discreet; however she suffered from health problems she inherited from her mother: such as a club foot and a hunchback, many of which her siblings also inherited (except for Margaret).
Marriage & Family Edit
Princess Claude married Charles III, Duke of Lorraine on January 19, 1559, when she was but 11 years old, and became Duchess Consort of Lorraine. Despite her tender age, the couple enjoyed a very happy marriage.
This union produced 9 children:
- Henry II, Duke of Lorraine (1563–1624) married Margerita Gonzaga
- Christine (1565–1637), married Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
- Charles (1567–1607), Cardinal of Lorraine and Bishop of Metz (1578–1607), Bishop of Strasbourg (1604–1607)
- Antoinette (1568–1610), married John William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg.
- Anne (1569–1576)
- Francis II, Duke of Lorraine (1572–1632) married Christina of Salm
- Catherine (1573 † 1648), Abess de Remiremont
- Elisabeth Renata (1574–1635), married Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria
- Claude, 1575-1576.
Relationship with her mother the Queen Edit
Claude was Queen Catherine's favorite daugher. She often left Nancy, the capital of Lorraine, in order to visit her mother in the heart of France. Catherine de' Medici also liked to visit her daughter in Lorraine. Against her mother's wishes, though, Claude did try to warn her younger sister Margaret of Valois of the danger she would face as the new wife of the Huguenot King of Navarre on the night of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre.
Early Death Edit
Princess Claude, Duchess of Lorraine died on February 21, 1575 after giving birth to her namesake daughter who died the next year. Claude was only 27.