Catherine de Clèves

Catherine de Clèves, Duchess of Guise (* 1548, † 11 May 1633) was a direct cousin of Henri de Navarre on her mother’s side. Her first husband Antoine de Croÿ, Prince of Porcien, forced her, who was after all a godchild of Caterina de' Medici, to convert to Calvinism. After his death in 1567, Catherine inherited all the properties at the instigation of her godmother and converted again. Although a young widow with great wealth and kinship ties to royalty, Henri de Lorraine, Duke of Guise did not marry her willingly in 1570. He had hoped to marry Marguerite, the sister of the French king, who absolutely disagreed and married the duke to Catherine. After all, the marriage produced 14 children.

She openly accused Henri III of the murder of her husband. She supported the Catholic League and hoped that her son would succeed to the throne. Only after Henri IV converted to Catholicism did she give up her opposition to him. From then on, she ensured that the entire Guise family supported the king. Henri IV held her in high esteem and she became one of the most influential people at the French court.

The Massacre at Paris

In [Scene 15] the Duke of Guise catches his wife writing a letter to her lover Louis de Maugiron, Baron d’Ampus. Catherine did have an affair, but with Paul de Stuart de Caussade, Count of Saint-Mégrin.1

  1. Thomas and Tydeman (1994)↩︎

Aktualisiert am 24.05.2024

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