Margaret of Angoulême
Queen of Navarre
1492 – 1549 A.D.
Margaret was born in Angoulême, April 11, 1492, and died at the chateau Odos, in Bigorre, December 21, 1549. She was the daughter and eldest child of Charles of Orleans, Count of Angoulême, and of Louise of Savoy. Her father died when she was in her twelfth year, but she was well educated by her mother, and at the court of Louis XII.
She was married in 1509 to Charles, Duke of Alenςon, a prince of the blood royal, but who has suffered in history, as he did at the time, by the splendor of the alliance made for him. The five years that immediately followed this marriage were passed in the duchy of Alenςon; but when Margaret’s brother became king of France, as Francis I., she not only became attached to his court, but had a large part in the government.
She was superior to her brother in ability, and her learning and wit made her the fit companion of the statesmen of those times. She spoke several languages fluently and correctly.
After the defeat and capture of her brother at Pavia, in February, 1525, Margaret aided her mother to carry on the government for some months; but in August she went to Madrid, where Francis was then a prisoner to Charles V. Her visit was reputed to have saved his life; and her warm reproaches to the emperor, because of his unchivalrous [sic] treatment of Francis, had a powerful effect on his cold nature. The duke of Alenςon, her husband, died April 11, 1525. She afterwards became the wife of of Henri d’Albert, Count of Bearn, and titular king of Navarre.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.