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Margherita de' Medici

Margherita de' Medici (Florence, May 31 1612 – Parma, February 6 1679[1]) was Duchess consort of Parma and Piacenza by her marriage to Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma. Margherita was regent of Plaisance in 1635 and regent of the entire duchy in 1646 after the death of her husband.

Contents

Family

She was the fourth of eight children and the second daughter born to Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria.

Margherita's siblings included: Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cardinal Giancarlo de' Medici, Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici and Anna, wife of Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Further Austria. Margherita's other siblings died in childhood or eary adulthood.

Her paternal grandparents were Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Christina of Lorraine. Ferdinando was a son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his first wife Eleanor of Toledo.

Margherita's maternal grandparents were Charles II, Archduke of Austria and his wife Maria Anna of Bavaria. Maria Anna was the eldest daughter of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria and his wife Archduchess Anna of Austria. Anna was a daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. Hence Margherita is a descendent of the Holy Roman Emperors. [2]

Life

Margherita in her younger years

Margherita married Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma in 1628 when he came of age. The marriage although it is not celebrated today was said to be the strongest alliance between the Duchy of Parma and the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, Medici family.

The engagement occurred in 1620. The marriage was celebrated on October 11 1628 in the Medici hometown of Florence. To welcome the spouses the show "Mercury and Mars," was performed in the Teatro Farnese with music by Claudio Monteverdi and texts Claudio Achillini.

The years in which the couple ruled over Parma are remembered for the plague of 1630, for the contrast between the splendor of the court and the tax burden to which they had subjected their subjects. The tax money was used to improve Odoardo's armies. The Duke also had a pro-French policy.

According to portraiture and the sources of the time, Margherita was a beautiful woman, but offset by other qualities; she was amiable and perfectly educated. Unlike his predecessors, the duke was very devoted and loyal to her and there were never any sources that claimed Odoardo had illegitimate children [3].

Margherita and Odoardo had five children:

On September 11 1646, Odoardo died. Their eldest son, Ranuccio was not yet old enough to rule the Duchy alone so his mother, Margherita acted as regent until her son was old enough to govern alone.

Margherita outlived at least two of her children. She died in Parma on February 6 1679.

Ancestors

References

This article incorporates information from the revision as of 24 August 2009 of the equivalent article on the Italian Wikipedia.
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Simple English

Margherita de' Medici (31 May 1612 – 6 February 1679) was Duchess of Parma and Piacenza by her marriage to Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma. Margherita was regent of Plaisance in 1635 and regent of the entire duchy in 1646 after the death of her husband.

Family

She was the fourth of eight children and the second daughter born to Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Maria Magdalena of Austria.

Margherita's siblings included Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cardinal Gian Carlo de' Medici, Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici and Anna, wife of Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Further Austria. Margherita's other siblings died in childhood or eary adulthood.

Margherita married Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma on 11 October 1628. On 11 September 1646 Odoardo died. Their eldest son, Ranuccio was not yet old enough to rule the Duchy alone so Margherita acted as regent until her son was old enough to govern alone. She died in Parma on February 6 1679.

Issue

  1. Caterina Farnese (2 October 1629) died at birth.
  2. Ranuccio II Farnese (17 September 1630 – 11 December 1694) married (1) Margaret Yolande of Savoy, (2) Isabella d'Este, (3) Maria d'Este.
  3. Alessandro Farnese (10 January 1635 - 18 February 1689), Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands died unmarried.
  4. Onorato Farnese (24 January 1636 -2 November 1656) died unmarried.
  5. Maria Caterina Farnese (3 September 1637 - 24 April 1648) a nun
  6. Maria Maddalena Farnese (15 July 1638 - 11 March 1693) died unmarried.
  7. Pietro Farnese (4 April 1639 - 4 March 1677) died unmarried.
  8. Ottavio Farnese (5 January 1641 - 4 August 1641) died in infancy.


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