Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – Catherine de Medici: the Story of Three in a Marriage

Catherine de Medici: the Story of Three in a Marriage

Tomb of Catherine de Medici and Henry II – Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis – Paris.

Image used under Wikipedia Creative Commons Licence-SA 3.0

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Caroline Rayman

Catherine de Medici, the only woman ever to rule France, married Henry, second son of King Francis I. This was a dazzling match for a Florentine “daughter of a merchant”. But the young bride arrived in a strange country to find a third person in the marriage, and her new husband completely uninterested in her.

She had enemies in the French court and life was a great struggle. After many unhappy years, she became ruler of France (three of her sons would rule after her) and mother-in-law to Mary Queen of Scots.

Caroline Rayman has lectured for many years to universities and art organisations in America and on cruises. She was an official guide at the British Museum and has published articles on samplers. Her lectures range from the role of the royal mistress in history to more scholarly lectures on Frederick the Great of Prussia.