Elisabeth, Archduchess of Austria to be the wife of Charles IX, King that France. She to be born in Vienna, Austria top top July 5, 1554, the second of the six daughters and the fifth of the fifteen youngsters of first cousins Maximilian II, holy Roman Emperor and Maria of Spain. Her paternal grandparents were Ferdinand I, divine Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia and Hungary (younger brothers of Charles V, holy Roman Emperor and also King the Spain) and Princess anne of Bohemia and also Hungary. She maternal grandparents were Charles V, divine Roman Emperor and also King of Spain, and Isabella of Portugal. King Philip II of Spain was Elisabeth’s maternal uncle.

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Elisabeth had four older siblings and also ten younger siblings but only 7 survived come adulthood:

Archduke Ferdinand the Austria (1551 – 1552), passed away in early childhoodArchduchess Marie that Austria (1555 – 1556), died in infancyArchduke Friedrich that Austria (1562 – 1563), passed away in infancyArchduchess Marie that Austria (born and also died 1564), died in infancyArchduke Charles the Austria (1565 – 1566), passed away in infancyArchduchess Eleanor that Austria (1568 – 1580), passed away in childhood

Elisabeth lived v her enlarge sister Anna and her younger brother Matthias in the newly built Stallburg, part of the Hofburg Palace facility in Vienna, Austria. Elisabeth’s brothers were educated by the Flemish writer and also diplomat Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq. The intelligent Elisabeth joined she brothers in their studies and proved come be wonderful student. Elisabeth’s religious education was oversaw by her mother.

In 1559, as soon as Elisabeth was five-years-old, a marriage with Charles, duke of Orléans, the 2nd surviving boy of Henri II, King of France and also Catherine de’Medici, to be suggested. By 1562, as soon as a French delegation came to Austria to again indicate a marriage, the potential bridegroom had become Charles IX, King that France. His father Henri II, King that France had died as a result of a jousting accident, and also his brothers François II, King the France, had passed away from one abscess. The French delegation was not entitled to make an offer however Elisabeth’s grand Holy roman inn Emperor Ferdinand I showed up interested. In spite of the opportunity of a French marriage, Elisabeth was taught German, Spanish, Latin, and also Italian – however not French. In 1569, when marital relationship plans for Elisabeth v King Frederik II the Denmark and King Sebastian of Portugal failed, Elisabeth’s father, now Maximilian II, holy Roman Emperor, and also Catherine de’Medici, the mother of Charles IX, King of France, agreed to a marriage in between their children.


Charles IX, King that France; credit transaction – Wikipedia

Nineteen-year-old Charles and fifteen-year-old Elisabeth were married in a proxy marital relationship on October 22, 1569, at the Speyer Cathedral in Speyer, currently in Germany, then crucial city in the holy Roman Empire. Elisabeth’s uncle, Archduke Ferdinand of additional Austria-Tyrol, stand in together a proxy for Charles. Top top November 4, 1569, Elisabeth and her entourage left for the journey to France. However, since of the continuous rain make the roads impassable, it was chose to have the officially marriage commemorated in Mézières, a town in Champagne located on the French border with the Spanish Netherlands. Charles’ two younger brother Henri, battle each other of Anjou (the future King Henri III) and also Hercule François, fight it out of Alençon (later fight it out of Anjou) met Elisabeth on her journey and also escorted her to Mézières. Charles IX was curious around his bride and also disguised himself as a soldier. He then mixed in v a group of courtiers if his brother Henri debated the local architecture with Elisabeth. Charles was reportedly delighted v Elisabeth.

King Charles IX that France and Archduchess Elisabeth the Austria to be formally married ~ above November 26, 1570, in Mézières through Cardinal Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop the Rouen performing the ceremony. On in march 25, 1571, Elisabeth to be crowned Queen that France through Cardinal Charles de Lorraine, Archbishop that Reims in ~ the Basilica the Saint-Denis near Paris, the traditional coronation website of the Queen Consorts of France. After a short infatuation v his new wife, Charles returned to his mistress Marie Touchet through whom he had actually an illegitimate child born in 1573, Charles, fight it out of Angoulême. However, Charles and also Elisabeth had a hopeful relationship.


Elisabeth together Queen that France, circa 1574; credit – Wikipedia

Elisabeth had difficulties learning French and also adapting to the much more risqué French court so she specialized herself come embroidery, reading, and also charitable and also pious works. She dame d’atour (lady that honor), Marguerite de La Marck-Arenberg, Countess of Arenberg often served as her translator. Elisabeth’s mother-in-law, Catherine de’Medici, to be the power behind the throne and also was eager to keep Elisabeth the end of politics so she entrusted her through as couple of duties and also tasks together possible. One of Elisabeth’s couple of friends was her sister-in-law Marguerite that Valois. Elisabeth and Marguerite synchronized with each various other for the remainder of their lives. Elisabeth’s former teacher Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq had accompanied her to France and became the mr chamberlain of her household.


St. Bartholomew’s job Massacre; credit transaction – Wikipedia

Despite her strong opposition come the protestant French Huguenots, Elisabeth was horrified when she obtained news that the Saint Bartholomew’s day Massacre that started during the night of respectable 23-24, 1572. When Elisabeth request if her husband knew around the massacre, she was told that he to be the initiator (although ~ above the advice the his mother, Catherine de’Medici). Elisabeth exclaimed, “Oh, mine God! What is this? Who room these counselors who offered him together advice? my God, ns ask of friend to pardon him.” then she asked for her book of hours and also began come pray.


Princess Marie Elisabeth the Valois; credit transaction – Wikipedia

Two months after the Saint Bartholomew’s work Massacre, Elisabeth provided birth come her just child, a daughter Princess Marie Elisabeth, ~ above October 27, 1572, at the Louvre royal residence in Paris. There to be disappointment the Marie Elisabeth was not the much-needed masculine heir.

Although King Charles IX publicly approved of the results of the St. Bartholomew Day’s Massacre, the left him through a mental trauma that lasted because that the continuing to be two year of his life. He ended up being increasingly depressed and also his currently weak constitution can no much longer resist the tuberculosis that devastated his body. Elisabeth quietly supported him and prayed for his recovery. On might 30, 1574, Charles IX, King the France passed away at the age of 23, there is no the presence of his wife, at the insistence that his mother. Charles IX was buried at the Basilica the Saint-Denis and his brother prospered him together King Henri III. Elisabeth’s father divine Roman Emperor Maximilian II argued that she marry her deceased husband’s brothers and follower Henri III but both Elisabeth and also Henri refused.


Funeral that Charles IX; credit – Wikipedia

Widowed in ~ the period of 20, Elisabeth was established to return to Vienna. Having listed no masculine heirs come the French throne, her future life at the French court alongside she mother-in-law Catherine de’Medici to be a dismal prospect. Henri III gave Elisabeth the ar of La Marche together her dower lands and also the title Duchess of Berry. In addition, she got the Duchies that Auvergne and Bourbon. Her previous teacher and also lord chamberlain Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq remained in France to regulate her properties.

Elisabeth was unable to take her daughter v her to Vienna. Together a Fille de France (Daughter that France), Marie Elisabeth had actually to be elevated in France. On respectable 28, 1575, Elisabeth checked out her daughter for the critical time in ~ the Château d’Amboise in the Loire Valley wherein Marie Elisabeth to be being raised, and on December 5, 1575, Elisabeth left Paris because that Vienna.

In Vienna, Elisabeth first lived at she childhood home, the Stallburg, component of the Hofburg Palace complex in Vienna, Austria. ~ above October 12, 1576, her father died and her brothers Rudolf II flourished him as divine Roman Emperor. Her best tragedy came on April 2, 1578, as soon as her five-and-half-year-old daughter Marie Elisabeth died. Marie Elisabeth was buried in a vault of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, beside her father. After she sister Anna, the fourth wife the King Philip II that Spain, passed away in 1580, Philip II proposed marital relationship to Elisabeth. She responded to his offer with the renowned phrase: “The emperors of France perform not remarry” (Les Reines de France ne se remarient point.), when said through Blanche that Navarre, widow that King Philippe through of France.

In 1580, Elisabeth bought part land near the Stallburg in Vienna and founded the Convent of negative Clares Mary, Queen the Angels, also known together the Queen’s Monastery, and also retired there. Elisabeth specialized the rest of she life to the practice of piety, caring for the poor, and nursing the sick.

On January 22, 1592, Elisabeth passed away of pleurisy in ~ the period of 37. She was hidden under a basic marble slab in the choir that the church of the convent she founded. In 1782, the convent was dissolved by holy Emperor Joseph II under his reform policies and converted to the Lutheran City Church, the first Evangelical Lutheran church in Vienna. By stimulate of holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Elisabeth’s continues to be were moved to the Ducal Crypt at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.


Ducal Crypt in ~ St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Elisabeth’s last resting place; credit – by Bwag – very own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66345452

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Works Cited

De.wikipedia.org. 2020. Elisabeth Von Österreich (1554–1592). easily accessible at: .En.wikipedia.org. 2020. Charles IX that France. available at: .En.wikipedia.org. 2020. Elisabeth the Austria, Queen the France. obtainable at: .Flantzer, Susan, 2020. Charles IX, King that France. unofficially Royalty. Easily accessible at: .Fr.wikipedia.org. 2020. Charles IX (Roi De France). available at: .Fr.wikipedia.org. 2020. Élisabeth D’autriche (1554-1592). obtainable at: .Goldstone, Nancy, 2015. The rival Queens: Catherine De’medici and Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and The Betrayal that Ignited A Kingdom. New York: ago Bay Books.

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This entry to be posted in Austrian Royals, French Royals top top June 20, 2020 by Susan.

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