Francis II of France’s Siblings Ranked Oldest to Youngest

13 Francis II of France’s Siblings Ranked Oldest to Youngest

Francis II was King of France for a brief, not-so-shining moment after his father, Henry II, was killed in a jousting accident. His reign as king only lasted a year, but considering Francis was just one of thirteen children from his parents’ royal bloodline, there was no shortage of power-hungry relatives jumping at the chance to take on a new noble distinction.

But as is the story with most people throughout history that gets to wear a crown, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Francis II and his siblings join history as another example of its pitfalls, and we’ll learn more about them as we rank him and his siblings from oldest to youngest.

13. Diane of France (July 25, 1538 – January 11, 1619)

Age: 16
Born: Paris, France
Died: Paris, France
Reign: July 10, 1559 – December 5, 1560

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Diane of France was the illegitimate daughter of Henry II, a product of his relationship with a French courtesan Filippa Duci. She was a figure in the politics surrounding the French Wars of Religion, which refers to a period of civil war from 1562 to 1598 where Protestants and French Catholics fought for religious supremacy, resulting in the loss of 2-4 million people.

Apart from her status as the daughter of Henry II of France, she had an eye for architecture, building the Hôtel d’ Angouléme in Paris.

Did You Know?

Letters posthumously discovered proved that Diane was a woman ahead of her time, exemplifying courage and tolerance not typical of people with influence over lower classes.


12. Francis II of France (January 19, 1544 – December 5, 1560)

Age: 16
Born: Chateau de Fontainebleau, France
Died: Orleans, France
Reign: July 10, 1559 – December 5, 1560

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Francis II of France served as King consort of Scotland while ruling as King of France — a result of his marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1558. After his father died in a jousting accident, he took the throne in a turbulent time known as the French Wars of Religion.

Francis was in poor health and too inexperienced at 15-years-old, leaving him to delegate responsibility to his wife’s uncle, Francis, Duke of Guise.

Francis II was unpopular because of an oppressive policy against Protestantism, leading to a coup d’état against him and Francis, Duke of Guise. Despite attempts at communication, he reacted like a teenage boy with a fragile ego, ultimately defined as a young boy plagued by religious revolts that he couldn’t solve.

Did You Know?

Francis II was deteriorating since the beginning of his time in power. It lasted just 17 months, ultimately dying from complications of possibly a few things — meningitis, mastoiditis, and otitis.


11. Elisabeth of Valois (April 2, 1545 – October 3, 1568)

Age: 23
Born: Fontainebleau, France
Died: Aranjuez, Spain
Reign: June 22, 1559 – October 3, 1568

photo source: wikipedia.org

Elisabeth of Valois was the daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici. She also ruled as Queen of Spain after marrying Philip II of Spain. Their marriage was symbolic of the treaty between their respective countries, known as the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis.

She and Philip went through some struggles while trying to conceive a child, with their first pregnancy resulting in a stillborn, followed by a miscarriage. Eventually, the two succeeded and gave birth to Isabella in 1566 and Catherine one year later.

Did You Know?

Elisabeth is a prominent figure in fiction, most notably as the main character in the play Don Carlos, Prince of Spain, and even on a CW show called Reign.


10. Claude of France (November 12, 1547 – February 21, 1575)

Age: 27
Born: Fontainebleau, France
Died: Nancy, France
Reign: January 19, 1559 – February 21, 1575

photo source: wikipedia.org

Claude of France was a French princess and daughter of Henry II and Catherine de Medici. On January 19, 1559, she married Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, making her Duchess consort of Lorraine.

She and Charles III had nine children.

Did You Know?

Claude died while giving birth in 1575 at 27-years-old.


9. Louis of Valois ( February 3, 1549 – October 24, 1550)

Age: 1
Born: Fontainebleau, France
Died: Mantes-la-Jolie, France
Reign: February 3, 1549 – October 24, 1550

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Louis of Valois came into power upon birth as the son of Henry II and Catherine de Medici. He died one year and eight months later after catching a “chill.”

Rumors that swirled mentioned Henry II and Catherine intended for Louis to become Duke of Urbino, a title that was solely the Medici’s.

Did You Know?

There are conflicting reports on Louis’s date of death, placing it either in 1549 or 1550. Similar uncertainty surrounds his cause of death. He’s buried in the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis.


8. Charles IX of France (June 27, 1550 – May 30, 1574)

Age: 23
Born: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: Vincennes, France
Reign: December 5, 1560 – May 30, 1574

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Charles IX of France became his brother Francis II’s successor after his death in 1560. On the day of his brother’s death, he was made king. His mother (Catherine de Medici) also received a fancy new promotion the same day, becoming governor of France.

Charles IX married Elisabeth of Austria on November 25, 1570. They had one daughter, Marie Elisabeth of Valois. Three years later, he fathered a son, Charles, Duke of Angouleme, with his mistress, Marie Touchet.

Did You Know?

Charles passed away from tuberculosis in 1574.


7. Henry III of France (September 19, 1551 – August 2, 1589)

Age: 37
Born: Fontainebleau, France
Died: Chateau de Saint-Cloud, France
Reign: May 30, 1574 – August 2, 1589

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Henry III was the successor of Charles IX following his death. In addition to being King of France, he was King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. At the time of the Wars of Religion, tensions flared when people realized that Henry III wouldn’t be able to conceive a child and rightful heir to the throne, instigating a succession crisis — the War of the Three Henrys.

Henry III was a talented fencer, but his interests steered him to the fine arts and literature. Unlike other royalty, Henry III wasn’t as stiff and always quick to accept a night of adventure amongst the locals, attending fairs, music shows, and other social events.

Did You Know?

Henry III was assassinated in 1589 by Jacques Clement, a Catholic fanatic.


6. Henri of Valois (1551 – June 2, 1586)

Age: 34-35
Born: N/A
Died: Aix-en-Provence, France
Reign: N/A

Henri of Valoisphoto source: wikipedia.org

Henri d’Angoulême was a cleric and military commander during the Wars of Religion. He was called Henri, batard de France, which is as romantic a title can be when being referred to as the bastard of France. This was a reference to him being the illegitimate child of Henri II of France and his mistress Janet Stewart.

However, because he was the favorite among his father’s children, he was legitimized and made Duke of Angouleme.

Did You Know?

Henri was killed in a fight with Philip Altoviti, who also succumbed to his injuries.


5. Margaret of Valois (May 14, 1553 – March 27, 1615)

Age: 61
Born: France
Died: Paris, France
Reign: August 2, 1589 – December 17, 1599

Margaret of Valoisphoto source: wikipedia.org

 

Margaret of Valois was once princess, then Queen through marriage to Henry III of Navarre, then Queen of France after her husband’s promotion.

After her death, rumors and gossip went haywire regarding the private life of this aristocratic, affluent queen, painting her as a nymphomaniac with incestuous inclinations. At the turn of the 21st century, most historians agreed that was a result of anti-Valois propaganda meant to cast doubt on a woman’s involvement in politics.

Did You Know?

Margaret once rebelled against her husband to galvanize the Catholic League, which for the time was a maneuver highly taboo and rarely seen for a woman of the sixteenth century.


4. Francis, Duke of Anjou (March 18, 1555 – June 10, 1584)

Age: 29
Born: France
Died: France
Reign: 1576 – June 10, 1584

Francis, Duke of Anjouphoto source: wikipedia.org

Francis, Duke of Anjou, was named Hercule but changed it to honor his brother Francis II when confirmed into Christianity. His time in control of a military faction was devastating and proved to be a fatal mistake.

In an attack on Antwerp, Francis had the idea to mislead its citizens by entering the city in a friendly, grandiose gesture to disarm their people, where French troops would stay behind, ready to attack when least expected.

He underestimated the intelligence of the citizens of Antwerp, and their militia destroyed Anjou’s forces in what’s known as the French Fury. After barely escaping, it was the last military mission he would ever take part.

Did You Know?

His mom, Catherine de Medici, wrote to him wishing he had died, stating: “You would then not have been the cause of the death of so many brave gentlemen.” Elizabeth I also ended her engagement to him.


3. Joan of France (June 24, 1556 – June 24, 1556)

Age: 0
Born: Fontainebleau, France
Died: Fontainebleau, France
Reign: N/A

Joan of France was a French princess who passed during childbirth.

Did You Know?

She is the daughter of Henry II and Catherine de Medici.


2. Victoire of France (June 24, 1556 – August 17, 1556)

Age: 0
Born: France
Died: Amboise, France
Reign: N/A

Victoire of France was born alongside her twin sister Joan. 

She died two months later due to complications from childbirth.

Did You Know?

She is the daughter of Henry II and Catherine de Medici.


1. Henri of Saint-Remy (1557 – February 14, 1621)

Age: 64
Born: Paris, France
Died: Paris, France
Reign: N/A

Henri de Saint-Remy is the youngest son of Henry II of France and his mistress Nicole de Savigny.

He was a military member with the noble title of Count. He married Christine de Luze, Lady of Bazoilles in 1592. They had four children.

Did You Know?

He is buried in the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris.

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