Olga's Gallery

Henry II, King of France


Henry II (de Valois) of France (1519-1559), King of France from 1547, the second son of Francis I. In 1533, as Duke of Orléans, he married 14-year-old Catherine de’Medici, by whom he had seven surviving children, three of whom became kings of France (Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III). He became heir in 1536 at the death of his elder brother, the dauphin Francis. In alliance with Scotland he declared war on England and captured Boulogne (1550) and Calais (1558). From the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, he also gained lands for France. At home he initiated the persecution of Huguenots. He died of accidental wounds received in a tournament, and was succeeded by his elder son, Francis II, who was married to Mary Queen of Scots.
See: Francois Clouet Portrait of Henry II.

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