I admit it, I am totally a (historical) royals geek. Of course, I understand that royalty are just people, some of whom aren’t very interesting or nice. But especially when I was younger, I read numerous “Queens of England” books and biographies of various queens. I always think about doing social media theme days with images of different queens, then get disappointed when I realize that there aren’t enough movies/TV series to make it worthwhile. I did the English queens in three posts, now I have to do the French!
BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT, I am consciously skipping these people who are worthy of (or already have) their own posts:
- Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Catherine de’ Medici
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Margaret of Valois
- Anne of Austria
- Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon
- Marie Antoinette of Austria
- Joséphine de Beauharnais
- Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
- Marie Thérèse of France
- Eugénie de Montijo
I’m mostly working with Wikipedia data here, so if you know of a movie or TV series that has included any French queens, please feel free to add it in the comments! If they’re not listed here, it’s because I can’t find any onscreen portrayals. Also, I don’t wanna hear any bitching about the term “lesser.” I mean “less frequently depicted.” Breathe.
Last week it was up through the 14th century, now let’s do the rest!
Margaret of Anjou (1445-61)
I covered her in my medieval English queens post!
Charlotte of Savoy (1461-83)
Daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy, she was the second wife of Louis XI. She was mostly ignored by her husband, but served as regent for him in 1465 and then on the regency council for her son in 1483 after his death.
Anne of Brittany (1491-98 and 1499-1514)
Duchess of Brittany 1488-1514, queen consort of France from 1491-98 and 1499-1514, queen consort of Naples from 1501-04, and duchess consort of Milan from 1499–1500 and 1500-12. Phew! She was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany, she married Charles VIII, and then after his death, married his cousin Louis XII. She is known for defending Brittany against French power grabs, and along with her husband was the patron of important architectural projects like the chateaux of Blois and Amboise.
Mary Tudor, Queen of France (1514-15)
Younger sister of Henry VIII, she briefly married Louis XII. After his death, she secretly married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and incurred Henry’s wrath. Via her daughter Frances, Mary was grandmother to Lady Jane Grey. Her story is fascinating and you can read the longer version in our post about why she’s worthy of more screen attention.
Claude of France (1514-24)
Daughter of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany, she married Francis I; she also ruled as Duchess of Brittany from 1514-24. She was extremely short, had scoliosis, and was almost constantly pregnant. She was very religious and devoted herself to that, leaving politics (including the ruling of Brittany) to her husband.
Eleanor of Austria (1518-21)
Daughter of Philip of Austria and Joanna of Castile, who would later co-rule Castile. She first married Manuel I of Portugal, then after his death Francis I. Although mostly ignored by her husband and left out of politics, she was involved in a few key peace treaties; she also did a lot of charitable works.
Maria Theresa of Spain (1660-83)
Daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, she married Louis XIV. She was known for her virtue and piety, and was almost totally excluded from politics except for serving as regent briefly in 1667, 1672, and 1678 while Louis was away on military campaigns.
Who’s your favorite French queen, 15th century to now?