1500s

Queen Margot takes on the bastards of the Valois dynasty

Life wasn’t easy for a Valois bastard. Life wasn’t easy for any Valois, but thanks in part to Queen Margot’s efforts, life eventually got very difficult for the ones born on the wrong side of the blanket.

Margot’s father, Henry II had a number of illegitimate children, and one in particular, Diane de France, managed to win Catherine de Medici’s affection. By the time that Catherine died in January of 1589, she was so estranged from Margot that at her deathbed she cut her only remaining child out of her will. Catherine’s estate instead went in part to her children by her elder two daughters, Charles de Valois, who his father Charles IX gave the title of Comte d’Auvergne, and Diane de France. Margot literally got nothing. When she learned of this, she must have been livid.

Margot sued Charles and Diane in 1604 on the basis that according to Henry II and Catherine’s wedding contract, none of their estates could be passed to anyone other than their legitimate offspring. That legally excluded both royal bastards. Sure of a legal victory, Margot started to make plans to leave Usson for the first time since her brother Henri III placed her there in 1586.

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