Sunday, 26 February 2012

Queen Eleonore of France

Eleonore, the second wife of Françoise I, died on February 25, 1558.

Eleonore of Austria (1498-1558) was the daughter of Philip, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Burgundy and of Joanna of Castile. She was the sister of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, Queen Isabella of Denmark, Queen Mary of Hungary and Queen Catherine of Portugal. She was born in Louvain, Belgium.
Eleanor of Austria

 When she was young, her parents attempted to arrange a marriage with the King of England, Henry VIII. Instead, he married Eleonore’s aunt, Catherine of Aragon. They also tried to marry her to Louis XII and Sigismund I of Poland.

In 1517, Eleonore fell in love with Frederick of the Palatinate. Charles was enraged and expelled Frederick from court. Eleonore followed her brother to Spain later that year. Charles arranged a marriage between Eleonore and King Manuel of Portugal, who had previously been married to two of her aunts, to avoid the possibility of Portuguese assistance to any rebellion in Castile.

Eleonore married François I of France on July 8, 1530. Before her marriage to François I became part of the conditions of the Treaty of Cambrai, she had planned to marry his nemesis, Charles de Bourbon.

The King of France was more interested in his mistress, Anne de Pisseleu, than his new wife. On her arrival in France Eleonore made the acquaintance of Diane de Poitiers, who became her maid of honour. There was a little over a year’s difference in their ages. Eleonore’s coronation was held March 5, 1531. It was at the tournament to celebrate the coronation that Henri first asked to carry Diane’s colours.

Eleonore’s marriage to François was purely political. She spent her entire marriage attempting to establish peaceful relationship between her husband and her brother.

Diane remained grateful to Eleonore for her kindness toward Henri and his brother, when they were held hostage in Spain as children. When the King died in 1547, Eleonore was not present, nor was she informed of her husband’s death. Diane was not pleased, and she told Henri so.

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