Henrietta Maria: Wikis


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Henrietta Maria of France
Henriette Marie by Anthony van Dyck
Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland
Tenure 13 June 1625 – 30 January 1649
Spouse Charles I of England and Scotland
Charles II
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
James II of England & VII of Scotland
Princess Elizabeth
Princess Anne
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
Princess Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans
House House of Stuart
House of Bourbon
Father Henry IV of France
Mother Marie de' Medici
Born 25 November 1609(1609-11-25)
Palais du Louvre, Paris, France
Died 10 September 1669 (aged 59)
Château de Colombes, Paris, France
Burial Royal Basilica of Saint Denis,

Henrietta Maria of France (French: Henriette Marie de France); (25 November[1] 1609 – 10 September 1669) was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I.

She was the mother of two kings, Charles II and James II, and was grandmother to Mary II, William III, and Anne of Great Britain.



Like her elder sister Elisabeth, Henrietta Maria was known to be quite attractive in her youth.

Henrietta Maria was the daughter of King Henry IV of France (Henry III of Navarre) and his second wife, Marie de' Medici. She was born at the Palais du Louvre on 25 November 1609, but some historians give her a birthdate of 26 November. In England, where the Julian calendar was still in use, her date of birth is often recorded as 16 November. Henrietta Maria was brought up as a Roman Catholic. As the daughter of the Bourbon king of France, she was a Fille de France and a member of the House of Bourbon. She was the youngest sister of the future King Louis XIII of France. Her father was assassinated on 14 May 1610, in Paris, before she was a year old; her mother was banished from the royal court in 1617.

After her older sister Christine Marie married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, in 1619, Henriette Marie took on the highly prestigious style of Madame Royale; this style was used by the most senior royal princess at the French court.


Henrietta Maria as a young princess of France

She first met her future husband in Paris, in 1623, while he was travelling to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham to arrange his marriage with the Infanta Maria Anna of Spain. Charles' trip to Spain ended badly, however, as King Philip III of Spain demanded that he convert to Roman Catholicism and remain in Spain for a year after the wedding as a sort of hostage to ensure England's compliance with all the terms of the treaty. Charles was outraged, and upon their return to England in October, he and Buckingham demanded that King James declare war on Spain.

Searching elsewhere for a bride, Charles looked to France where the attractive Henriette Marie lived at the court of her brother and was still unmarried by 1625. However, her religion made her an unpopular choice of wife for the English King, whom she married by proxy on 11 May 1625, shortly after his accession to the throne.

They were married in person at St. Augustine's Church, Canterbury, Kent, on 13 June 1625, but her Roman Catholic religion made it impossible for her to be crowned with her husband in an Anglican service.

Initially their relationship was rather frigid and argumentative. Henrietta Maria had brought a large and expensive retinue with her from France, all of them Roman Catholic. It is said that eventually Charles sent them home to France, only allowing his teenage bride to retain her chaplain and confessor, Robert Phillip, and two ladies in waiting. Finding her sadly watching the retinue depart for France at the window of a palace, Charles angrily and forcibly dragged his recalcitrant queen away.[citation needed]

Henrietta Maria took an immediate dislike to Buckingham, the former King's favourite. However, after Buckingham's death in August 1628, her relationship with her husband improved and the two finally forged deep bonds of love and affection. Her refusal to give up her Catholic faith alienated her from many of the English people and certain powerful courtiers such as William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. Charles, on the other hand, had definite leanings towards Catholicism. He also did not share his father's sexual ambivalence.

English Civil War activities

Henrietta Maria increasingly took part in national affairs as the country moved towards open conflict through the 1630s. She despised Puritan courtiers and sought a coup to pre-empt the Parliamentarians[citation needed]. As civil war approached, she was active in seeking funds and support for her husband, but her concentration on Catholic sources like Pope Urban VIII and the French angered many in England and hindered Charles' efforts. She was also sympathetic to her fellow Catholics and even gave a requiem mass in her private chapel at Somerset House for Father Richard Blount, S.J. upon his death in 1638.

In August 1642, when the conflict began, she was on the continent where she continued to raise money for the royalist cause, and did not return to England until early 1643. She landed at Bridlington in Yorkshire with troops and arms, and joined the royalist forces in northern England, making her headquarters at York. She remained with the army in the north for some months before rejoining the King at Oxford. The collapse of the king's position following Scottish intervention on the side of Parliament, and his refusal to accept stringent terms for a settlement led her to flee to France with her sons in July 1644. Charles was executed in 1649, leaving her almost destitute.

She settled in Paris, appointing as her chancellor the eccentric Sir Kenelm Digby. She angered both Royalists in exile and her eldest son by attempting to convert her youngest son, Henry, to Catholicism. She returned to England following the Restoration in October 1660 and lived as 'Dowager Queen' and 'Queen Mother' at Somerset House in London until 1665 when she returned permanently to France. After her son's restoration, she travelled to England where Pepys, on 22 November 1660, met her and described her as a 'very little plain old woman, and nothing more in her presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman'.

Her financial problems were resolved by a generous pension. She founded a convent at Chaillot, where she settled.

In 1661, she saw her youngest daughter Henrietta Anne[2] marry the Duke of Orléans, only sibling of Louis XIV; that marriage made Henrietta Maria the maternal line great-grandmother of Louis XV of France and as such, an ancestor of the present-day Juan Carlos I of Spain, as well as the Duke of Parma and reigning Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

In August 1669, she saw the birth of her grand daughter Anne Marie d'Orléans; Anne Marie was the maternal grand mother of Louis XV making Henrietta Maria an ancestor of most of today's royal families.

Henrietta Maria died at the château de Colombes[3][4], near Paris, and was buried in the French royal necropolis at the Basilica of St Denis. As a member of the French royal family, her son-in-law, the Duke of Orléans, was also buried there in 1701.



The U.S. state of Maryland was named in her honour by her husband, Charles I. George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore submitted a draft charter for the colony with the name left blank, suggesting that Charles bestow a name in his own honour. Charles, having already honored himself and several family members in other colonial names, decided to honour his wife. The specific name given in the charter was "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana.[5] Cape Henrietta Maria, at the western meeting of James Bay and Hudson Bay in Northern Ontario, is also named for her.

The slave ship Henrietta Marie (which carried slaves to what is now the United States and sank 35 miles off the coast of Key West after selling 190 slaves to Jamaica in 1701) was also named after Henrietta Maria.



Name Birth Death Notes
Charles James, Duke of Cornwall 13 March 1629 13 March 1629 Stillborn
Charles II 29 May 1630 6 February 1685 Married Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705) in 1663. No legitimate issue.
Mary, Princess Royal 4 November 1631 24 December 1660 Married William II, Prince of Orange (1626–1650) in 1641. Had issue.
James II, King of England 14 October 1633 16 September 1701 Married (1) Anne Hyde (1637–1671) in 1659; had issue
(2) Mary of Modena (1658–1718) in 1673; had issue
Elizabeth, Princess of England 29 December 1635 8 September 1650 Died young; no issue. Buried Newport, Isle of Wight
Anne, Princess of England 17 March 1637 8 December 1640 Died young; no issue. Buried Westminster Abbey
Catherine, Princess of England 29 January 1639 29 January 1639 Stillborn; buried Westminster Abbey.
Henry, Duke of Gloucester 8 July 1640 18 September 1660 Died unmarried; no issue. Buried Westminster Abbey
Henrietta Anne, Princess of England 16 June 1644 30 June 1670 Married Philippe de France, Duke of Orléans (1640–1701) in 1661; had issue

See also descendants of Henrietta Maria de France, which maps how the Medici became part of the European Royal families, eventually leading to Prince William of Wales, future King of the United Kingdom.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Arms of Henrietta Maria of France[7]


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage and Gentry
  2. ^ named after the French Queen Anne of Austria
  3. ^ The château de Colombes was demolished in 1846.
  4. ^ http://apce.levillage.org/COLOMBES-LA-REINE-HENRIETTE.html (Frecnh)
  5. ^ Stewart, George R. (1967) [1945]. Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States (Sentry edition (3rd) ed.). Houghton Mifflin. pp. 42–43. 
  6. ^ Robert Knecht, Renaissance France, genealogies; Baumgartner, genealogicl tables.
  7. ^ Maclagan, Michael; Louda, Jiří (1999), Line of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, London: Little, Brown & Co, pp. 27, ISBN 0-85605-469-1 
  8. ^ In France prior c.1630 the style of Royal Highness did not exist as it does today; it was her brother Gaston de France who introduced the style but it did not take precedence till some time after the marriage of Henriette Marie
  9. ^ As it earlier in the article, she gained the title after her sister married; date shown is her sister's wedding date

External links

Henrietta Maria of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 25 November 1609 Died: 10 September 1669
British royalty
Title last held by
Anne of Denmark
Queen consort of England
Queen consort of Ireland
Queen consort of Scots

13 June 1625 – 13 January 1649
Title next held by
Catherine of Braganza

See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HENRIETTA MARIA (1609-1666), queen of Charles I. of England, born on the 25th of November 1609, was the daughter of Henry IV. of France. When the first serious overtures for her hand were made on behalf of Charles, prince of Wales, in the spring of 1624, she was little more than fourteen years of age. Her brother, Louis XIII., only consented to the marriage on the condition that the English Roman Catholics were relieved from the operation of the penal laws. When therefore she set out for her new home in June 1625, she had already pledged the husband to whom she had been married by proxy on the 1st of May to a course of action which was certain to bring unpopularity on him as well as upon herself.

That husband was now king of England. The early years of the married life of Charles I. were most unhappy. He soon found an excuse for breaking his promise to relieve the English Catholics. His young wife was deeply offended by treatment which she naturally regarded as unhandsome. The favourite Buckingham stirred the flames of his master's discontent. Charles in vain strove to reduce her to tame submission. After the assassination of Buckingham in 1628 the barrier between the married pair was broken down, and the bond of affection which from that moment united them was never loosened. The children of the marriage were Charles II. (b. 1630), Mary, princess of Orange (b. 1631), James II. (b. 1633), Elizabeth (b. 1636), Henry, duke of Gloucester (b. 1640), and Henrietta, duchess of Orleans (b. 1644).

For some years Henrietta Maria's chief interests lay in her young family, and in the amusements of a gay and brilliant court. She loved to be present at dramatic entertainments, and her participation in the private rehearsals of the Shepherd's Pastoral, written by her favourite Walter Montague, probably drew down upon her the savage attack of Prynne. With political matters she hardly meddled as yet. Even her co-religionists found little aid from her till the summer of 1637. She had then recently opened a diplomatic communication with the see of Rome. She appointed an agent to reside at Rome, and a papal agent, a Scotsman named George Conn, accredited to her, was soon engaged in effecting conversions amongst the English gentry and nobility. Henrietta Maria was well pleased to become a patroness of so holy a work, especially as she was not asked to take any personal trouble in the matter. Protestant England took alarm at the proceedings of a queen who associated herself so closely with the doings of "the grim wolf with privy paw." When the Scottish troubles broke out, she raised money from her fellow-Catholics to support the king's army on the borders in 1639. During the session of the Short Parliament in the spring of 1640, the queen urged the king to oppose himself to the House of Commons in defence of the Catholics. When the Long Parliament met, the Catholics were believed to be the authors and agents of every arbitrary scheme which was supposed to have entered into the plans of Strafford or Laud. Before the Long Parliament had sat for two months, the queen was urging upon the pope the duty of lending money to enable her to restore her husband's authority. She threw herself heart and soul into the schemes for rescuing Strafford and coercing the parliament. The army plot, the scheme for using Scotland against England, and the attempt upon the five members were the fruits of her political activity.

In the next year the queen effected her passage to the Continent. In February 1643 she landed at Burlington Quay, placed herself at the head of a force of loyalists, and marched through England to join the king near Oxford. After little more than a year's residence there, on the 3rd of April 1644, she left her husband, to see his face no more. Henrietta Maria found a refuge in France. Richelieu was dead, and Anne of Austria was compassionate. As long as her husband was alive the queen never ceased to encourage him to resistance.

During her exile in France she had much to suffer. Her husband's execution in 1649 was a terrible blow. She brought up her youngest child Henrietta in her own faith, but her efforts to induce her youngest son, the duke of Gloucester, to take the same course only produced discomfort in the exiled family. The story of her marriage with her attached servant Lord Jermyn needs more confirmation than it has yet received to be accepted, but all the information which has reached us of her relations with her children points to the estrangement which had grown up between them. When after the Restoration she returned to England, she found that she had no place in the new world. She received from parliament a grant of 30,000 a year in compensation for the loss of her dower-lands, and the king added a similar sum as a pension from himself. In January 1661 she returned to France to be present at the marriage of her daughter Henrietta to the duke of Orleans. In July 1662 she set out again for England, and took up her residence once more at Somerset House. Her health failed her, and on the 24th of June 1665, she departed in search of bile clearer air of her native country. She died on the 31st of August 1666, at Colombes, not far from Paris. See I. A. Taylor, The Life of Queen Henrietta Maria (1905).

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