Jeanne d'Albret

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Jeanne d'Albret

Jeanne d'Albret (January 7 1528June 9 1572) was Queen of Navarre from 1555 to 1572, wife of Antoine de Bourbon, duke of Vendome and mother of Henry IV of France.

Jeanne was born in Pau in 1528, the daughter of Henry II of Navarre and Marguerite of Navarre. Marguerite was the sister of Francis I of France, and Jeanne grew up at the French court. When she was thirteen, Francis married her to the Duke of Cleves, but this political marriage was annulled four years later.

After the death of Francis and the accession of Henry II Jeanne was married to Antoine de Bourbon, "first prince of the blood," who would become heir to the French throne if the Valois line died out.

In 1555 Henry II of Navarre died, and Jeanne and her husband became rulers of Navarre.

In the first year of her reign, Jeanne d'Albret called a conference of beleaguered Huguenot ministers which led to her declaring Calvinism the official religion of her kingdom.

The power struggle between Catholics and Huguenots for control of the French court and France as a whole led to the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion in 1562. Antoine de Bourbon chose to support the Catholics, but was mortally wounded at the siege of Rouen. Jeanne's son Henry now became "first prince of the blood."

In 1567 war broke out again, and Jeanne fled to the Huguenot city of La Rochelle. From here she conducted peace negotiations, and in 1570 official talks began to marry Henry to the king's sister Marguerite. She died in Paris two months before the wedding took place.

Marriages

In 1541 Jeanne married William, Duke of Cleves, annulled in 1545, with no issue.

On October 20 1548 she married Antoine de Bourbon.

Issue


Preceded by:
Henry II
King of Navarre
Succeeded by:
Henry III

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