Wife of King Charles I: Henrietta Maria of France

Henrietta Maria was born on the 25th November 1609 at Palais du Louvre, to parents Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici.  Her father was assassinated in 1610, and her mother was banished from the French court in 1617.

On the 11th May 1625, Henrietta Maria married King Charles I of England by proxy, a nd were married in person on the 13th June at St.Augustine’s Church in Canterbury, Kent.

Children of Henrietta Maria and Charles I:

Charles II, James II & VII, Elizabeth, Anne, Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange.

On the 2nd February 1626, Henrietta Maria and Charles, were supposed to stand next to each other, at their coronation at Westminster Abbey.  She, a practising Roman Catholic, refused to participate in Protestant religious ceremonies.

The King and Parliament were on different sides of the fence, and the English Civil war between Royalists and Parliamentarians, was a powder keg waiting to explode.

In 1643 Henrietta Maria, actively supporting her husband, landed at Bridlington in Yorkshire, with a ship laden down with men and arms, to fight for the Royalist cause.

In 1644, she fled to the safety of France, taking with her, Henrietta Anne, her youngest child. 

In January of 1649, King Charles I came to trial, accused of treason against England.  On the 26th January he had been found guilty, and executed on the 30th January.

She was shocked, that England’s Parliament had found King Charles I of England guilty, and executed him.  From that day forth, she dressed in black and mourned his passing.

With the monarchy abolished in England, she remained exiled in France.

When Oliver Cromwell died in September 1658, his position as Lord Protector fell to his son; Richard, who continued his father’s work until his resignation in May 1659.

Parliament and Monarchy were restored, under King Charles II, and at this time Henrietta Maria returned to England, and Parliament granted the Dowager Queen, an income of £30,000 per year.

Her son James, the Duke of York married Anne Hyde the Earl of clarendon and Lord Chancellor to Charles I.  She considered her son had married far beneath him… she was a commoner, not of Royal blood.

On the 31st March 1661, Henrietta Anne married Phillip, the Duke of Orleans.  Both were grandchildren of Henry IV of France and Mary de Medici.

In 1665 Henrietta Maria founded the convent at Chaillot in France.

On the 10th September 1669, Henrietta Maria died at Chateau de Colombes, and was buried in the royal tombs of the Cathedral of Saint Denis.  Her heart was interred separately at Chaillot convent, in a silver Casket.

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