Oh yes, while they are in the stage of being courteous to the new Princess of Asturias, her personality may come to clash with other's, though fortunately she is not quite as brutally honest/rude as her husband's aunt, the Queen of Naples. It was indeed very hard for Philiberta, though fortunately this will be the only child of her's that dies young. Thank you for pointing out the age of Mary's daughter, I decided to make her thirteen years old, very young to be someone's mistress but then again it may not be suprising given the tales of her mother's years abroad(here Mary served Margurite D'Angloueme for the period before her marriage).. Thank you very much!!!
Oh! Poor Margaret then! Can't be easy catching a prince's eye when you're only a child. And you're very welcome!
With the beginning of the year would come conflict. Said conflict, was fortunately not that of war(at least in Europe proper), Europe had enjoyed a rather unprecedented period of peace following the conclusion of The Third Italian War. This conflict was to be in personalities, at the Alcázar of de los Reyes Cristianos, between the Princess of Asturias, Eleanor of Portugal and the Queen of Spain, Philiberta of Savoy. Apparently, over the previous fall, Juan, Prince of Asturias had taken a mistress, a member of a wealthy merchant family, one Elena Martinez(age 20), and had spent much more time with her than with his wife. While the two had enjoyed a good relationship and grown to love each other, this did greatly annoy the Infanta Eleanor who generally stood silent about it in public. One of Queen Philiberta’s ladies, Rosa de Bivero(a niece of Teresa de Bivero, lady of Maria of Aragon) recounts the clash between the Princess of Asturias and Queen, she writes,”The Princess Eleanor entered the Queen’s chambers, and asked how she is to deal with the Prince’s unfaithfulness. The Queen laughed and haughtily informed her that she should not run complaining about a problem that she, through not being an attentive wife has caused. The princess then glared at her and called her a fat old cow, who only became Queen through the death of a better woman, her late aunt Mary. As the Princess stormed out of the room, Queen Philiberta called her a Portuguese filly, who like her grandmother Isabella of Aragon, does not know her place.”
Naturally, neither woman was pleased by the other and petiotioned the King to reprimand the other. King Ferdinand VI for his part was partially amused, yet also aggravated, for he did not wish to offend either woman. As a result of this, the King simply refused to chastise either woman, and later remarked that he had more important things to attend to. Indeed, this was not the King’s usual pompous attitude to the,”Nonsense of women.” Which is what he called the argument, he had plans of his own. Plans of war. Those plans were attacking the final notable base that the Barbary corsairs under Ottoman suzerainty held, that of Tunis. Other than his own war that saw Morocco lose its entire coastline, King Ferdinand’s grandmother, Isabella of Castile had, towards end of her reign, succesfully ordered the conquest of much of Algeria. Still, in spite of this, the Balearic islands, as well as portions of Sicily had suffered the occasional raid from the Barbary pirates, thus, the King sought to put an end to their raids once and for all, by cutting off the head of the serpent: The infamous Hayreddin Barbarossa, who had overthrown the local ruler who had previously paid tribute to the King of Spain: Mulay Hassan, in the year before. The task at hand was a demanding one, for though Barbarossa’s forces would likely be outnumbered by those of the King of Spain, the man was a formidable warrior, and an excellent commander. Thus, King Ferdinand would leave nothing to chance in this campaign, bringing an estimated forty thousand men, five thousand of which were Portuguese troops lent to him by his cousin Miguel, King of Portugal. Another form of foreign support lent to this expedition was twenty galleys from Spain’s allies in Naples and Genoa, with the Neapolitans providing eight, and the Genoese providing a dozen ships, for both had suffered at the hands of the Barbary pirates.. Overall he naval complement of his forces would consist of roughly three hundred ships, including five galleons, to ensure total victory. Thus, in late April the campaign had begun, with the King of Spain bring his youngest brother the Infante Jaime, Duke of Urgell, as well as his brother-in-law Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba as his foremost generals. King Ferdinand would also bring his eldest son, Juan, Prince of Asturias on campaign, to prove himself on the field of battle. In regards to who would govern the Kingdoms of Spain in his absence, he choose his mother, Margaret of Austria as regent. His younger siblings who had previously served in the role, the Infante Juan Carlos, Duke of Cadiz, and the Infanta Urraca, Duchess of Alba could not serve as coregents, because the former was suffering from a case of dysentery while the latter was in the final months of her fifth pregnancy. On the topic of pregnancies in Spain, it would turn out that before he departed for North Africa with his father and uncles, Juan, Prince of Asturias managed to get his wife pregnant, though it would not be known until a couple of months after his departure. Finally, after months of preparation, the Spanish army and fleet would make arrive at Tunis, where ferocious fighting would occur between the Spaniards and the forces under Barbarossa’s command. The Barbary fleet heavily outnumbered and outgunned, was rather easily crushed, and the Portuguese Galleon: the Portuguese galleon Botafogo would break the chains protecting the harbor with her ram. Eventually, the port of Tunis, La Golleta would fall, after heavy bombardment and an amphibious assault by the Spanish infantry, in which Juan, Prince of Asturias would prove his worth as a warrior by striking down two Ottoman soldiers. By the end of the day, thirty thousand of the city’s inhabitants were massacred by the Spaniards, as well as the entirety of the garrison and Barbary fleet, and wholesale looting and devastation of the city would occur as well. Hayreddin Barbarossa for his part was captured: branded with hot irons, and after sustaining many beatings and lacerations was uncertainly beheaded by the King of Spain. King Ferdinand VI was said to have remarked to his men,”We shall treat this cesspool as our Roman forebearers treated Carthage, though we, in our infinite mercy shall stop short of salting the fields.” Tunis’s fate, would be ghastly indeed, though most of the residential buildings would be spared to make room for immigrants from Spain, most of whom would be Christians from the poorer area around La Mancha, while some Jews and Muslims from Granada would be granted permission to settle there as well, for they too had been victims of Barbary piracy, and were unlikely to aid the Ottomans in the future, while some would also provide low interest loans to the rest of the immigrants.. Regarding defenses, a garrison of four thousand men would be left in the city, most of whom would be sheltered in a Kasbah near La Gouletta. Upon their return to Spain in July, at Seville, Juan, Prince of Asturias received the unfortunate news that his wife had miscarried their unborn child just weeks ago, though his father tried to reassure him, that given time, they may have many children. It was also shortly after this return to one of the many Alcázar’s in which court was held, that King Ferdinand managed to impregnate Queen Philiberta for the third time, with her child due in June of the next year. In September meanwhile, Sancho de Trastámara, nephew of the King of Spain, and heir to his father, the Duke of Cadiz(who fortunately survived his brush with dysentery) was wed to his betrothed Catherine de Medici, at the royal court in Seville. One chronicler, Roberto Yanez wrote,”Young Sancho is a rather boisterous young man, let us hope that his bride will have a moderating effect.”
Of course, Catherine for her part, having been raised by her grandmother-in-law, in Spain for much of childhood knew much of the local customs, and seemed rather enamored with her royal husband. Indeed, Sancho must have found her attractive enough, for the fifteen-year-old eagerly consummated his marriage. However, had she known this was a sign of Sancho’s temperament and later infidelities, perhaps Catherine de Medici would have wished he was more hesitant.

To the west, at the edge of Europe, Portugal would continue to prosper from her colonies in Brazil, and the conquest of Morocco’s western coast, though the latter required sizeable garrisons as the Moroccan’s chafed under Portuguese rule, for they were much more restrictive on matters of religion than the Spanish. In Lisbon, on May 28th, Portugal’s Queen, Catherine of England, gave birth to her seventh child, a boy named Diogo, named after King Miguel’s uncle: Diogo, Duke of Viseu, who had been executed by King João II on rather dubious charges in 1484.

To the northeast, in the Duchy of Savoy, its Duchess, Maria of Aragon, the second youngest child of the Catholic Monarchs, lay dying. The fifty-one year old seemed to have contracted Typhus, as for three weeks, the Duchess suffered a series of horrifying symptoms: High fever, red spots all over the body and deliruim. The latter of the symptoms would cause her to hallucinate and believe that her grandson, Ferdinand of Savoy, was actually her youngest son Emmanuel, who had died four years ago. Finally, her suffering mercifully ended on March 7th as her fifth son John, the Archbishop of Turin, was performing a mass for his mother’s soul, and she drew her last breath. Two months later, on May 26th, her son Phillip of Savoy and his wife Susanna of Bavaria would have their tenth and final child: a son, named Robert. This would not be the only notable birth in the Ducal family, for on October 7th, exactly seven months after the Duchess’s death, her grandson, Philibert of Savoy and his wife Elizabeth of England, had their second child. Following a long, yet successful labor, the Princess gave birth to a girl, named Maria, for the child’s great-grandmother who had so recently passed.

In England, there was to be a flurry of activity, for Anne of Cleves, Princess of Wales was pregnant for the third time, while her younger sister, Amalia of Cleves, Duchess of York was also with child. As such both women would take additional ladies into their household during this delicate period. The Princess of Wales for her part would take a pair of young cousins as ladies. The two newest ladies were Eleanor Percy, and Elizabeth Boleyn the former was fourteen years old, and was the eldest child of Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland, and Anne Boleyn, Countess of Northumberland, while the latter was the thirteen year old only daughter of George Boleyn and Maud Percy. Eleanor and Elizabeth seem to have been close friends throughout their lives, with the two acting more like sisters than cousins, perhaps due to the fact that Elizabeth had only brothers while Eleanor’s sisters were so much younger than her that while she doted on them, she did not necessarily view them as peers. The newest addition to the Duchess of York’s household was Dorothy Seymour, age fifteen, the daughter of John Seymour, Duke of Exeter, who had been granted the title as a reward for his competent service as an administrator throughout the realm. Dorothy’s elder sister Jane was the second wife to Henry Radclyffe, the heir to the Earldom of Sussex, married in 1527, two years after the death of his first wife Elizabeth Howard, who had died giving birth to a stillborn son. On February 10th, Anne of Cleves would birth her second child, a girl, named Margaret, after her husband’s aunt, the Dowager Queen of Scotland. Unfortunately, the baby girl would die a little over two months after her birth, on June 13th, causing grief, as well as worry over the succession, for the Prince of Wales had only one surviving child, his daughter Catherine. Some however, including the Prince of Wales himself, held faith that his wife would one day give birth to a son, or that his daughter would be a competent Queen, should the burden of leadership be thrust upon her. Amalia of Cleves' pregnancy would have a much better outcome than her sister’s, for on August 4th, she would give birth to a healthy son named Henry, after both the king and the Duke of York. Just two days later, Prince Edward, Duke of Richmond and his wife Mary Howard, who were both deeply in love with one another, had their first child on August 6th. This child was a boy, named Thomas, for both his paternal uncle and maternal grandfather, was born a little less than a year after his parents’ marriage.
Boleyn Family Tree
George Boleyn(b.1503, d.1565) m.Maud Percy(b.1503, d.1560) had issue
1)Thomas Boleyn(b.1521)
2)Elizabeth Boleyn(b.1522)
3)William Boleyn(b.1524, d.1524)
4)Henry Boleyn(b.1527)
5)John Boleyn(b.1529)
6) Stillborn son(1532)
7)Geoffrey Boleyn(b.1534)
Percy Family Tree
Henry Percy(b.1502, d.1557) m.Anne Boleyn(b.1501, d.1560) had issue
1)Eleanor Percy(b.1522)
3)Henry Percy(b.1526)
4)George Percy(b.1528)
5)William Percy(b.1529)
6)Catherine Percy(b.1532)
7)Joan Percy(b.1534)
8)Margaret Percy(b.1537)
Radclyffe Family tree
Henry Radclyffe(b.1507, d.1557) m. Elizabeth Howard(b.1505, d.1525) second marriage to Jane Seymour(b.1508, d.1562) had issue by both
1a)Stillborn son(1525)
1b)Robert Radclyffe(b.1528, d.1528)
2b)Elizabeth Radclyffe(b.1530)
3b)Margaret Radclyffe(b.1532)
4b)John Radclyffe(b.1535, d.1535)
5b)Henry Radclyffe(b.1539)
6b)Edward Radclyffe(b.1541)
To the south, in France, there was to be two notable births amongst the French arsitocracy. The First, being that on June 17th, Duke Peter III of Bourbon, and his wife, Eleanor de Foix, had a son named Jean, named after Eleanor’s older brother. The other noteworthy birth was that of a stillborn son on December 5th, to Jean de Foix and Charlotte de Bourbon, and while the stillbirth was tragic, there was little pressure on the two, for they were still very young, barely eighteen years old.
In Lorraine, Francis of Lorraine and Mary of England would have their first child that would come to term, a son named Charles, who was born on November 11th.

Prosperous Italy would also witness the expansion of several ducal families. The first of which was Florence, where Duke Alessandro had his first illegitimate child by his wife’s half-sister on March 18th , a son who he named Alessandro, after himself. Four months later, on August 26th, The Duke’s wife, Louise of Savoy would bear him another child, a son, named Simonetto, named after Duke’s mother, as it was the male version of the Duke’s mother’s name.
In Milan meanwhile, on July 27th, Ercole d’Este and Catherine of Austria would have their fourth child, a daughter named Bona, who shared a birthday with Bona’s late uncle, Duke Ludovico of Milan. To the north in Milan, on July December 21st, Ludovico Sforza and Renee of France would have their fourth child, and third daughter, a girl named Anna, after Renee’s mother the late Duchess of Brittany and Queen of France. This happiness would soon be marred by sadness for two days later, on December 23rd, Beatrice d’Este, the Dowager Duchess of Milan would die of natural causes at the age of sixty.
In Poland, Beatrice d’Este’s grandaughter, Bianca Maria Sforza, the Crown Princess of Poland would become a mother, with the birth of her daughter, Anna Jagellion, on November 1st, though she would later be distressed to hear that her husband had taken a mistress, Barbara Radziwiłł.
To the north in Denmark, in the month of May, Princess Edith of England arrived to wed Crown Prince John of Denmark in a lavish ceremony at Copenhagen. A member of the Danish lower nobility, and historian, Svend Haraldson Ankner wrote,”The Princess is very beautiful, with a round face, small lips, while she has her father’s reddish hair and dark eyes. Princess Edith is like Queen Catherine in temperament, kind, humble, and pious while she received an excellent education under her mother’s direction. It would seem that we have received a lady who will one day be an excellent queen.” Prince John for his part was described as a bit overweight, though he made up for this with a good sense of humor, charm, and substantial intelligence. The two would go on to fall passionately in love, and there would no hint or record of infidelity.

In Sweden, much to the joy of King Gustav, Hedwig of Poland would give birth to her fourth child , a son named John, on April 2nd.

Catherine de Medici
Catherine de Médicis 1519-1589 (Catherine de Medicis)

Sancho de Trastámara
Tiziano, ippolito de' medici.jpg

Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond
Mary Howard Archives | The Tudor Travel Guide

Prince Edward, Duke of Richmond
Prince Edward, Duke of Richmond.jpg

Edith of England, Crown Princess of Denmark
Princess Edith of England.jpg

John, Crown Prince of Denmark
Ottheinrich, Herzog von Pfalz-Neuburg.jpg
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As a result of these campaigns in North Africa, and a decent amount of tolerance for Jews and Muslims, I believe Spain has more or less drives the Barbary pirates and Ottomans out of the Western Mediterranean. Does anyone else think that this setback, coupled with a surviving Hungary, may compel the Ottomans to focus more on fighting the Safavids?
ah, i just knew that Eleanor of Portugal would cause drama...well, a lovely update. Interested to see how Spain’s possessions in North Africa will develop.
Yes, she certainly has, and no doubt has put her husband and father-in-law in rather awkward positions..... I'm no expert, but I believe that in the future there will be a decent sized Christian minority in much of North Africa, perhaps constituting 15 % of the population, from both local converts and from immigration from Spain itself. Tunis, however, thanks to King Ferdinand's brutal treatment of the city, will probably be one of the only areas of North Africa to have a Christian majority, which will be particularly important as it is very much on the eastern frontier of Spain's North African Empire. The local Muslims for their part will be treated similarly to how those in Granada have been treated in TTL, they will mostly be tolerated but will have to pay a tax on their property. I think the continued presence of Muslims and Jews in this Spain will be better for its economy, for there will be plenty of people that will be willing to lend money, not to mention the taxes and manpower that both will provide. However, unlike Spain's colonies in the New World, there will be very little interracial marriage, if only for the fact that the Muslim faith prohibits Muslim women from marrying non-muslims, though there may be a few cases of Spanish merchants marrying their female relatives off to Muslim merchants in the hopes of securing better business deals.... Thank you so much for your praise!!!
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There would begin with election results in Norway, as Prime Minister Trond Torleivsson Benkestok, after serving two terms as Norway’s Prime Minister, was ineligible to seek another term in office. There would be a total of three candidates for the office of Prime Minister that year, and the people of Norway cast their votes on December 12th of the previous year. The candidates were for the highest office in the republic were: Henrik Nielsen(age 60), the marshal of the Republic during the tenure of his son-in-law,. Arvid Kolden(age 52) who had just finished his third term as a senator representing the province of Nordland and the recently retired Colonel Helga Solvisdotter(age 29), who had recently married. The following is a brief description of each candidate and their aims: Marshal Henrik Nielsen sought to mostly continue his son-in-law’s policies, especially in increasing the size of the navy. While he despised the idea of a monarchy, throughout the campaign he postured himself as a natural successor to Prime Minister Benkestok, saying once in a visit to Oslo,” I have served well in my capacity as marshal, and I believe that is thanks to my experience within the highest levels of Government, that I would make a fine leader of our nation.” Regarding his foreign policy, Nielsen believed in maintaining close relations with Sweden, while pushing for conflict against England and Denmark decrying,”The tyrant King of England reminds us all why we are glad not to be ruled by a king. He burns and kills those who choose to follow Pederssonism, as well as those of other sects. Perhaps we should do something to liberate his beleaguered people.” Senator Arvid Kolden for his part encouraged a sort of guarded neutrality in regard to foreign affairs, taking part in trade and only taking part in wars unless the Republic is directly attacked. Kolden also advocated for lower spending and taxation, to encourage commerce within Norway. Helga Solvisdotter, wanted to stay allied with the Swedes, though was not hostile to the English once stating,”If we can bind England to us, they may not interfere in our affairs.”
It is unknown if Solvisdotter believed she could actually win or not, for while she had some fame from her command, and heroism, she did not exactly have the same political connections as the older men she was running against. She did however have wealth, in the form of estates and a pension granted to her by the Republic for her service, as well as donations from several wealthy merchants in Southern Norway, who may have wished to see a member of a Burgher family, as opposed to two noblemen, become Prime Minister. In any case, it is most likely that Helga Solvisdotter wished to cultivate more of a reputation for herself, as the first woman to run for a national elected office anywhere in the world, and that perhaps even a failed campaign could propel a future political career. Overall, the results of the election would be: Marshal Henrik Nielsen winning the office of Prime Minister and roughly 55 percent of the vote, Senator Arvid Kolden won an estimated 25 percent while Colonel Helga Solvisdotter won the remaining 20 percent of the vote. All in all it seemed that little would change when Henrik Nielsen was elected Prime Minister, for initially, he did little that could be considered out of the ordinary. Indeed, his choice of Vice Minister was a shrewd one, for he picked Kjell Arneson (age 43). Arneson was a savvy politician, andan excellent administrator, having proved both in his two terms as Governor of Møre og Romsdal and was from a family of middling merchants, becoming the first non-noble to hold the office of Vice Minister. Such an appointment seemed to be a good omen, though this would be disproved by later events…

In France, the year would start with a wedding and the arrival of a Dauphine, for the winter was a particularly mild one. Thus, in late January, Elizabeth of Austria, the eldest child of Charles V, and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary arrived to marry the Dauphin Francis. The Dauphin was a quiet, pious, and stern young man, a rather stark contrast to his rowdy younger brother, Charles the Duc d’Orleans. Indeed it is likely that the Dauphin Francis was more similar to his mother in demeanor than any of his other siblings, often chastising those who acted in a flirtatious way. It was said that before the arrival of his bride Francis spent hours in prayer, asking well to give him the strength to fulfill his duties. The bride-to-be for her part was somewhat reluctant to leave her home and be wed to a Frenchman. Princess Elizabeth has been described as,”High-spirited, friendly and charming with many friends.” When Elizabeth of Austria arrived at the Palace of Fontainebleau, she was greeted with a very mixed reception. While her official welcoming seemed pleasant, it was merely the mask that the French presented to the other European monarchies. Other than her cousin, Queen Blanca, Elizabeth had few friends, amongst the French nobility, with only the ambitious Marie of Guise, Duchess of Longueville, and her mother, Antoinette of Bourbon, Duchess of Guise being steadfast allies. Still, despite some initial cold formality, The Dauphin appreciated his wife’s warmth and friendly nature, and the two would fall in love with one another. In fact, she, alongside her stepmother-in-law, would quickly find themselves pregnant by their respective husbands. The Queen of France’s pregnancy would begin sooner, and on May 13th, Blanca of Aragon, Queen of France would have her fourth child, and second daughter, the Princess Agnes. The choice of name was a rather unconventional one, for neither Blanca nor Francis had a close relative bearing that name. Instead, the Princess was simply named so because she was born on the feast day of St. Agnes of Poitiers, in the hopes that honoring the saint in such a way would ensure the girl would live past infancy. It would turn out that, the Dauphine would not be so fortunate. For on October 20th, she went into labor for the first time. The birth was long and difficult and many feared for the Dauphine’s life, given her age. Fears for Elizabeth of Austria’s life would prove to be unfounded, and she successfully birthed a daughter, named Anne, for both her mother, Anne of Bohemia, and Francis’s maternal grandmother, Anne of Brittany. Sadly, the child would not live long, succumbing to a chill on October 24th, much to the heartbreak of her parents.
In Savoy, Margret Carey, one of Elizabeth of England’s ladies, as well as the mistress of her employer’s husband would face a rather difficult decision. For, in the month of March the fifteen-year-old received a letter from her mother, Mary Boleyn, Dowager Baroness of Hunsdon(who had recently remarried to a soldier William Stafford) urging her to return home. A surviving copy of the letter states,”Daughter, please request a release from the Princess Elizabeth. Being a mistress of a Duke’s grandson may grant you status, but does it give you security? Do you truly think that Philibert would be as generous to you as his grandfather is to his Spanish woman? I think not. In any case, Queen Catherine bears no ill will towards you for laying with her daughter’s husband and offers you a place as one of her ladies. Accept it, for I know Elizabeth will be less forgiving than her mother, and in service to the Queen, you may find yourself a proper husband. -Your concerned mother, Mary, Dowager Baroness of Hunsdon.”
Apparently, the lady Margaret decided to follow her mother’s orders, and after ending her relationship with the younger Philibert of Savoy, requested permission from the man’s wife to be released from her service. Elizabeth, eager to get rid of the woman who had vied for her husband’s affections, agreed. Thus, by July of the same year Margaret Boleyn became a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England. It was in this role that she would conduct herself with more propriety, helped by the fact that King Henry VIII, was wholly faithful to his wife, as she was no longer in her childbearing years, thus there was no longer long periods of time in which he had an excuse to be with anyone else.
One more event that would occur in Savoy would be the birth of a third child to Philibert of Savoy and Elizabeth of England, a girl, Susanna of Savoy, born a month early on November 1st, who would within an hour of her birth.
In Spain at the Alcázar of Segovia on June 9th, the Queen, Philiberta of Savoy, would, at the age of thirty-eight, give birth to her final child, a daughter named Ana. The Infanta Ana was named for Philiberta’s grandmother, Anne of Cyprus, and for her late sister-in-law Maria of Aragon’s stillborn twin sister. Fortunately, the child would live, and the Infanta Ana would go on to be Philiberta’s favorite daughter, for she would go on to be the most similar to her in character. The King of Spain’s nephew, Sancho of Cadiz would also become a father, though this would be fleeting. On December 3rd his wife, Catherine de Medici would give birth to their eldest child, a daughter named Ana for her maternal aunt, Anne de La Tour d'Auvergne. Tragically, their daughter would only live for a little over a week, dying on December 11th.
Far to the north, in the Duchy of Lorraine, there would be a further tragedy, for, on April 20th, Mary of England, Duchess of Lorraine gave birth for their second time, birthing a daughter, named Renata. Unfortunately for her and Francis, the child would live for just nine days, dying on April 29th, a stark reminder of the specter of infant mortality.
To the northwest, in Scotland, there were to be happier tidings, for the Scots were celebrating the wedding of their King, James V, who seemed to be impatient for the company of a woman, given that he had sired at least four illegitimate children before he was wed. That bride was the sixteen-year-old Madeline of Valois, a Princess of France, though she would not arrive until July, with extra care taken due to her frail health. The two seemed to get along rather well, and perhaps even loved each other, with James V writing in his journal that,”The ladye is much worth the wait.”
To the east in Denmark there we to be good tidings, for Edith of England, Crown Princess of Denmark would, on August 12th, give birth to her eldest child, a son named Christian, bringing much happiness to herself and her husband. Unfortunately, the celebrations of the birth would be muted, for a week later, on August 19th, the boy’s grandmother, Isabella of Austria, Queen of Denmark would pass, after catching a deadly case of Tuberculosis, causing great distress to many, especially her mother, Juana, the Dowager Empress of the Holy Roman Empire.
Far to the south, in Italy, there would be several notable events. The first was the birth of the youngest child to King Ferdinand III of Naples and his wife Maria of Aragon, occurring on February 5th. That child would be a daughter, named Margherita, for Maria’s mother, the Dowager Queen of Spain.
To the north, in Milan, there was also to be a birth, as Ludovico Sforza and Renee of France would have their fourth child. The girl that Renee gave birth to would be named Anna, after her mother, Anne of Brittany.
The last important event of the year would take place around Christmas, for a betrothal between Albert of Bavaria, the heir to his father’s duchy, and Princess Christina of Denmark was arranged.

Kjell Arneson, Vice Mininister of Norway
Ludwig X. von Bayern.jpg

Elizabeth of Austria, Dauphine of France, and Duchess of Brittany
Elizabeth of Austria, Dauphine of France.jpg

Francis, Dauphin of France and Duke of Brittany
History of Portraiture on Twitter: Died #OnThisDay in 1536: #Dauphin Francis  III, #Duke of #Brittany (1518-36), son of #King #FrancisI of #France  #Portrait by Corneille de Lyon (1500/10-75), 1536 #FrançoisI #Valois  #FrenchRoyalty #

Madeline of Valois, Queen of Scots

James V, King of Scots
Portrait of James V of Scotland (1512 - 1542).jpg
lady Margaret decided to follow her mother’s orders
Good choice!

I feel for Elisabeth of Austria, Dauphine of France. Life cannot be easy as the daughter of the enemy in a foreign land. Philiberta of Savoy is quite impressive, giving birth at 38. Also, I think it is incredible that Colonel Helga was even eligible to run for office in the 16th century!
Good choice!

I feel for Elisabeth of Austria, Dauphine of France. Life cannot be easy as the daughter of the enemy in a foreign land. Philiberta of Savoy is quite impressive, giving birth at 38. Also, I think it is incredible that Colonel Helga was even eligible to run for office in the 16th century!
Yes, familial duty won out for Margaret, and she'll be working for a woman that dosen't hate her. Elizabeth's beginings in France are certainly a little tough, but I promise she'll carve out a good life for herself, and (mostly) keep the peace. Philiberta is indeed impressive and she's far from done as Queen, though it will be later in life that she has a greater impact. Essentially the reason why Helga was allowed to run for that office is that anyone, over the age of 25 can do so, a sort of reward for the contributions women made during the war with Denmark, which were crucial given Norway's smaller population. She's not done yet though, for while she lost she's built up more fame and prestige. Thank you very much!
This year would begin with a glimmer of hope, at least for the happiness of the young Princess of Asturias, Eleanor of Portugal, though later events of the year would crush her. This glimmer of hope was the fact that her husband, Juan, the Prince of Asturias, and heir to the Kingdoms of Spain, ended his relationship with his slightly older mistress, Elena Martinez(b.1515, d.1557). Perhaps to soften the blow he arranged for her to marry Francisco de Vargas y Silva, 7th Lord of Higuera de Vargas(b.1514), which would bring her family the status that wealth alone, could not bring, and the woman would go on to have six children with her husband, and has living descendants today. Unfortunately, her former paramour would not have the same success for in the month of May, his wife Eleanor would miscarry their second, and ultimately last child. Still, Juan had grown into a devoted husband to Eleanor, and this would be the high point of their marriage, however short. Towards the end of June, the Prince of Asturias would become deathly ill, suffering from sharp pain in his side, malaise, Hematuria(bloody urine) and swollen legs. Modern doctors have concluded that he likely had Kidney Cancer, which while survivable today, in an age without modern medicine, and with constant travel, such a disease could be a death sentence. He would ultimately succumb to his illness on July 24th at the Royal Alcázar of Madrid, where he had been learning to administer the city, with his wife Eleanor, and Grandmother Margaret of Austria by his side. When the usual exhumation of his body was completed it was discovered that he had lumps in his kidneys, and his personal physician correctly inferred that it was Cancer that killed the Prince of Asturias The following letter written by Margaret of Austria, Queen Mother of Spain illustrates her sorrow following her grandson’s death,” Ferdinand, my son, I write to you not as your subject, but as your mother. I have heard that the muddy roads near Barcelona have delayed you and because of them, you are too late. Juan has passed into the hereafter, he suffered so in the month before his death, it breaks my heart. His suffering is at least over, and I am sure that he is with his grandfather. I will make the arrangements for his funeral, and I shall see you again in Granada next month.”
Ferdinand VI, King of Spain was naturally heartbroken by the news of his eldest son’s death, and reportedly some could hear the overturning of furniture and loud cursing after the courier who bore the letter left the King’s chambers in Barcelona. There were of course, political implications as result of Prince Juan’s death, for his younger brother, the Infante Alfonso, would become the new Prince of Asturias. The younger boy was said to have had a decent relationship with his older brother but was envious of the fact that Juan was more similarities to their father, and thus the older boy was very much the apple of the King’s eye. Whereas Juan was tall, gregarious, athletic, and blonde, Alfonso had their mother’s dark hair, was slight in figure, bookish and shy. Soon after Prince Juan’s funeral, there was talk of perhaps betrothing Alfonso to his older brother’s widow, Eleanor of Portugal, yet this would prove fleeting for several reasons. The first is that Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese), the same man who had issued the partially successful Sublimis Deus Papal Bull refused to grant a dispensation for the marriage. The reason for his refusal seems to be rather principled, and he remarked that,”The King of Spain’s eldest son had no living children with his cousin Eleanor, so why should I grant a dispensation for the same girl to marry the boy’s younger brother?”
Thus, for now, the new Prince of Asturias was without a promised. Though reportedly his father had endeavored to see if the betrothal between the French King’s niece, Jeanne d’Albert, the Princess of Viana and William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves would fall through, for the spirited heiress seemed to be against the marriage to the older man.
As a result of the failure to obtain a dispensation, Eleanor of Portugal, the Dowager Princess of Asturias would leave Spain to return home, and the grief-stricken young woman would arrive in Lisbon in October. On October 15th she would witness her mother’s eighth labor. In fact, she would become godmother of the child that was born, the Infante Arturo, named for her eldest maternal uncle, the long dead elder Arthur, Prince of Wales. It has been speculated that she may have been bitter that her mother, nearly thirty-six years old, was able to bear a child, while all the fruit from her own marriage was two dead unborn children. Still, she seemed to have been happy for her parents, and soon made a request of her father: That she would not remarry for several years and would be able to pick her next husband. Her father, King Miguel I, known for being an indulgent parent, agreed to this, and conferred upon her the title Duchess of Barcelos.
To the east, in the Duchy of Ferrara, the new Duchess, Catherine of Austria, shortly after her husband’s ascension, would give birth to a stillborn son on January 19th.
In Florence, there was to be a period of upheaval and confusion, following the assassination of Duke Alessandro I of Florence, as the twenty-six year old’s lust had lead him to be killed at the hands of his own cousin, Lorenzino, who had lured him into a room, with the promise of a liasion with a beautiful widow, it was said that in the attack,:” As Duke Alessandro waited alone and unarmed, Lorenzino and a hired assassin, Scoronconcolo, ambushed him and stabbed Alessandro with a dagger several times while the Duke fought back to the point that he bit off a significant portion of one of Lorenzino's fingers. Eventually, Alessandro succumbed to his wounds and Lorenzino and Scoronconcolo fled from the palace — after locking the door to the chamber to prevent their crime from being discovered too quickly."
The crime however was still discovered, by Agnes of Savoy, the illegitimate half sister of the Duchess Louise, who was said to have been looking for her lover, the now dead Duke, as she wished to announce her latest pregnancy by him. The young woman purportedly broke down in tears before informing her half-sister. Said woman, Louise of Savoy, certainly possessed some of the same cunning that her late mother, Maria of Aragon had, though with more steel in her heart. She immediately announced that as regent for her nine-year-old son, she had the responsibility to take up the mantle as ruler of the Duchy, and ordered an immediate search for her late husband’s murderers. Her actions were not necessarily those of a vengeful pregnant widow, but of a woman determined to protect her children, who she feared may be the targets of assassination themselves. She showed the stabbed body of her husband to the people of Florence in a somber public ceremony. One chronicler recounts that,”The fair lady rose her voice among the din of the crowd, and urged the people on’ People of Florence, see what the traitors have done to my husband, and do the same to them, I will not rest until those responsible burn in the fires of Hell!’ The crowd roared at this and vowed to kill those who had dared to strike down the Duke.”
Soon enough the two assassins were detained, tortured, and publicly garroted at the orders of the Duchess Louise, but she would not stop there. While she did not officially take responsibility, it is almost certain that in the coming weeks she had several scions of the Medici family killed to prevent them from attempting to assassinate her children, or press their own claims to the Duchy. First to die would be the aged Lucrezia de Medici, who suddenly died in her sleep(smothered to death). Next would be Lucrezia’s eldest child, the renowned diplomat Giovanni Salviati, who was set upon by “Highwaymen” and was found with dozens of stab wounds. In fact, in this short period, every one of Lucrezia de Medici’s children and adult grandchildren would follow her to the grave, be imprisoned or would be forced into a heavily monitored holy order. Most notably would be her prominent daughter, Maria Salviati, strangled to death with her own rosary, as well as Maria’s own son Cosimo dying shortly after, after a period of “Stomach Complaints”(Arsenic Poisoning). Cosimo’s illegitimate child, Bia de Medici(b.1537, d.1568) would be spared, though she would spend the rest of her life in a nunnery, without the knowledge of her real paternity.
She also likely had a proponent of the Florentine Republic killed, for Filippo Strozzi the Younger, soon found himself drowned and at the bottom of the Mediterranean, with rocks tied to his limbs. Louise of Savoy would also banish her husband’s former mistresses from court, with the only exception being her half-sister, Agnes of Savoy. After all the bloodshed, the Dowager Duchess gave birth to her final child on May 24th, a daughter, Isabella de Medici, who she named for her grandmother Isabella of Castile.
In Milan, on June 7th, Renee of France, wife of the Duchy’s heir, Ludovico Sforza would give birth to a stillborn son, much to the couple’s consternation.
In Savoy there was to be somewhat disquieting news, for Philibert of Savoy, the Duke’s grandson sired his first of several illegitimate children, a son, born to one of his wife’s English ladies, Anne Calthorpe(b.1520, d.1582), on February 1st. The illegitimate son would be named Charles, and apparently, Philibert’s wife, Elizabeth of England was livid with her husband for recognizing the boy as his own.
To the northwest, in France there were to be some notable births in the realm amongst the nobility. Firstly, Jean de Foix, the heir to the Duchy of Nemours, and County of Auvergne had a third child with his wife Charlotte de Bourbon. This child, born on August 14th, was a girl named Marie, for Jean’s younger sister who had died in infancy.
In the Duchy of Bourbon Duke Peter III and his wife Eleanor de Foix would have another child, a son, named Louis, after Eleanor’s late granduncle, Louis XII of France. Unfortunately, the child would die three weeks after his birth, on September 7th.
In the Duchy of Lorraine, Francis of Lorraine and Mary of England would have another child, a daughter named Renata after his mother, on April 20th. Tragically, the child was born three months early, and rather predictably died several hours after her birth.
Across the English Channel in England there was to be happier news, for Anne of Cleves, the Princess of Wales was pregnant for the fourth time, and it was hoped that the twenty-two-year-old would deliver a long-awaited son. She would not disappoint, and at Greenwich Palace, on October 12th, she would give birth to a healthy, and painfully large son, named Henry for his grandfather. It was months after this that the youngest child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Prince Thomas, would begin receiving tutelage from the younger William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been appointed as his namesake uncle’s successor in 1532. It soon became apparent that his parents King Henry, and Queen Catherine, as well as his namesake Thomas More, wanted to groom him for the position himself, which he was well suited to given his pious and studious personality.
To the northern part of the British Isles, in Scotland the new Queen, Madeline of Valois, would have a miscarriage in November, but despite her frail health, the Queen of Scots would survive, with some doubt placed in her ability to carry a child to term.
To the east, across the North Sea, there was to be an event of some import to the Danes. That was the remarriage of King Christian II, about a year after the death of his first wife, Isabella of Austria. It was said that the chief reasons for this remarriage was the hope of having a third son, as well as receiving a dowry, with the aim of the latter being used to fund a potential campaign to reclaim Norway or Sweden. His choice of second wife was a rather unconventional one, a thirty-year-old woman from Italy that had been widowed twice. This woman, was Ricciarda Sforza(Youngest sister of Duke Massimiliano), who would soon be known as Ricciarda “The Fair” of Milan, Queen of Denmark, who arrived in October. A beautiful woman, of good pedigree, she had first been married to Ranuccio Farnese, son of then-Cardinal Farnese in 1524, and after five years of marriage, the young man died of Tuberculosis. Ricciarda then briefly remarried again in 1531, to Ferdinando I Orsini, Duke of Gravina as his second wife, but the older man died of dysentery just two years later in 1533, once more leaving Ricciarda as a childless, but wealthy and beautiful widow. Although her stepchildren initially resented her presence, as their father had remarried rather quickly, Ricciarda managed to win them over with her kindness and gifts, and thus raised the youngest two, Christina and Phillip, as her own.
To the east, in the other Scandinavian Kingdom, King Gustav I of Sweden and Hedwig of Poland would have their fifth child, in Stockholm on October 2nd, a son named Sigismund for his maternal grandfather the King of Poland.
On the subject of Poland, across the Baltic Sea, the Crown Prince Sigismund would soon have a legitimate son, for at Wawel Castle in Krakow his wife, Bianca Maria Sforza, would give birth to their second child, on December 19th, who they named Sigismund.
To the south, in the Jagellion Kingdom of Hungary, King Louis II of Hungary and Mary of Austria would have their seventh and final child on November 21st, at Pest, a daughter named Alexandra, after her older brother that died in Infancy.

Elena Martinez, former mistress of Juan, Prince of Asturias, Lady of Higuera de Vargas.
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Anne Calthorpe, mistress of Philibert of Savoy
Miller-Anderson Histories: ANNE CALTHORPE (DRURY) 1463-1494 | Lady in  waiting, History, 17th century fashion

A painting of Eleanor of Portugal, Dowager Princess of Asturias and Suo Jure Duchess of Barcelos as a widow
Style of Corneille de Lyon | Portrait of a Widow | The Metropolitan Museum  of Art

Ricciarda "The Fair" of Milan, Queen of Denmark
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n Savoy there was to be somewhat disquieting news, for Philibert of Savoy, the Duke’s grandson sired his first of several illegitimate children, a son named Robert, born to one of his wife’s English ladies, Anne Calthorpe(b.1520, d.1582), on February 1st. The illegitimate son would be named Charles, and apparently, Philibert’s wife, Elizabeth of England was livid with her husband for recognizing the boy as his own.
Is the boy named Robert (Roberto more likely in Ferrara, I should think) or Charles/Carlos? You seem to have named him twice here...

Other than that, I really loved this chapter. Louise of Savoy was totally badass, although I'm astonished she didn't miscarry given the stress she must have been under.
Is the boy named Robert (Roberto more likely in Ferrara, I should think) or Charles/Carlos? You seem to have named him twice here...

Other than that, I really loved this chapter. Louise of Savoy was totally badass, although I'm astonished she didn't miscarry given the stress she must have been under.

Oops that's embarrassing.. Thank you for letting me know. I decided he would be named Charles... As for Louise, she proved pretty resilient, and although having to protect her children made her feel stressed, she was also a little relived that her husband can no longer humilate her with his affairs... Thank you very much, i thought it was time I added something intrigue oriented..
It was in this year that King Ferdinand VI began to prepare his now eldest surviving son, Alfonso, for his new role as Prince of Asturias. Although the King of Spain was in roaring health, the death of his eldest son Juan, the previous Prince of Asturias, the previous year, made him all too aware of the specter of mortality. It soon became apparent that young Alfonso had a great talent for administration and dispensing justice which he soon showed in governing the area surrounding Madrid, though this time the King of Spain would rarely leave that region, as the death of his eldest son had rattled him, and the royal court became less itinerant than it had in the years before. What the King of Spain did not know, was that his son had a secret, one that has only recently been definitively proven through the opening of the Royal Archives in 1992, which discovered sonnets and letters that were written of him by a close companion of his. In: An Unexpected King: The Life and Reign of King Alfonso XII of Spain (c.1996) Ines Soriano writes,” It was during the liberalization process, undertaken by her most gracious majesty Queen Maria III, that certain private documents have been made available to historians like myself. In a sonnet, created by the famous poet Rafael Núñez (b.1521) it has been revealed that the young Prince of Asturias was engaged in a love affair with another young man. Don Núñez was that lover, a Mestizo born as the illegitimate child to a Spanish soldier of Hidalgo stock and a Taino woman in Santo Domingo, he was orphaned at a young age. His mother died of Smallpox when he was barely a year old, while two years later his father was killed during a revolt by some plantation owners, who resisted arrest when they violated the Córdoba Decree, that protected most Indios from enslavement and ill-treatment. As a result, Rafael Núñez would be sent to Cáceres where his paternal aunt, one Elvira de La Fuente, would raise him, and oversee an education with an emphasis on Poetry. I will not disclose the exact wording of the sonnet, for it contains a fair bit of lascivious language, but it speaks of a teen of higher rank ‘parting his legs’ for Rafael. Thus, it can be concluded with some certainty, that Alfonso was discretely homosexual. King Ferdinand VII did not seem to notice this, for although he bitterly complained of his son’s perceived lack of masculinity, it was his son’s other interests that were the cause of his complaints.”

At the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos meanwhile, Sancho de Trastámara, eldest son and heir of The Infante Juan Carlos, the Duke of Cadiz, would have his first living child. On April 2nd, Catherine de Medici went into labor, and after four hours, a daughter was born. They decided to name the child Magdalena, after Sancho’s mother, the Infanta Magdalena of Navarre, as well as Catherine’s own late mother, Madeline de la tour Auvergne. The Dowager Queen Margaret of Austria was said to have been overjoyed by the birth of her first living Spanish great-grandchild, and even the King of Spain was in a better mood and became the child’s godfather. Young Sancho, however, would displease his wife, uncle and his parents, soon after, by bragging that he impregnated a young noblewoman by the name of Isabel Osorio. Shortly after this, at the very same Alcázar, that Garcia de Trastámara, the King of Spain’s other nephew, son of the Infante Jaime, Duke of Urgell, was wed to Maddalena de Medici, the King’s stepdaughter in a lavish ceremony. Queen Philiberta was especially pleased by this, for her daughter was now married into the same dynasty that she had married into and meant that all her grandchildren would be of royal status.

In Portugal it would was arranged that Manuel, Prince of Portugal, would marry his second cousin, Catherine of England, the eldest surviving child of Arthur, Prince of Wales and Anne of Cleves, for the birth of her younger brother Henry, in the previous year, made her succession to the English throne less likely. Still, in case she were to inherit England, there was a clause in her marriage contract that of her hypothetical sons, the eldest would inherit Portugal, while the second eldest would inherit England.

In France meanwhile, there would two important pregnancies, that of the Queen, Blanca of Aragon, and of the Dauphine, Elisabeth of Austria. The Dauphine Elisabeth’s pregnancy would be the first to end, for on January 19th, he would give birth to a son. She and Francis, Duke of Brittany decided to name the child Louis, after his maternal grandfather and late half-brother. King Francis of course, was a bit displeased that his son did not name his grandson after himself, but his wife calmed him down, by flattering him,”If all the Kings of France were named Francis, how would the people know that the first Francis, was the greatest of them?” Queen Blanca’s fifth pregnancy would end in tragedy, for in March she would suffer a miscarriage.

Across the English Channel there would be a birth, for on October 21st, Amalia of Cleves, Duchess of York, and Prince Henry, the Duke of York would have their second child, a daughter named Catherine. The choice of name was cause for argument between the two, for Henry resented how his mother constantly scolded him for his infidelities, especially upon the birth of his third bastard by Madge Shelton, Phillip FitzYork, just two months prior. Still, Amalia insisted that he honor his mother in such a way, and so the name would stay. Unfortunately, the girl would die after a month of life, on November 27th.

In Florence the year was mostly calm, as the Dowager Duchess of Florence, Louise of Savoy, ever like her wily grandfather, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, tighten her grip on the reigns of power in Florence.

In Milan however, the tiller of state would pass from one generation to the next. The reason for this was that on June 4th, Duke Massimiliano I of Milan, would die of Pleurisy, at the age of forty-five, after a period of illness lasting three months. As a result, his son, alongside his pregnant wife, would ascend to the title of Duke, becoming Duke Ludovico II of Milan. Duke Massimiliano’s widow, Isabella of Aragon, was devastated by the death of her beloved husband, complaining bitterly to her youngest sister, Blanca, the Queen of France in a letter,”My husband was barely a year older than your own and has been faithful, unlike the French fool you are married to, yet God takes my husband away, while yours still lives.”

To the north, in the Holy Roman Empire, it was arranged that the Emperor Charles V’s fifth child, Joanna of Austria, would be wed to Christian of Denmark, the son of John, Crown Prince of Denmark, and Edith of England.

In Denmark, King Christian II of Denmark would have his first child by Ricciarda of Milan on December 13th, a son, who he named Christian after himself. Sadly, the child would die of illness just a week later on December 20th.

Rafael Núñez, Poet and paramour of Alfonso, Prince of Asturias
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Isabel Osorio, mistress of Sancho of Cadiz
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With the coming of the new year, there would be a rather scandalous birth in Spain, that of Sancho de Trastámara’s first of several illegitimate children. On January 25th, his mistress, Isabel Osorio gave birth to a daughter, who the vain young man named Sancha, the female variant of his own name. His wife, Catherine de Medici was absolutely furious with him, and her temper was worsened by the fact that her mother-in-law, Magdalena of Navarre, seemed happy for her son to have an illegitimate child, while her father-in-law, the Infante Juan Carlos did not rebuke his son for his indiscretions, perhaps the only thing that the Duke and Duchess of Cadiz agreed on. Her only real ally in this embarrassing time would be her uncle by marriage, King Ferdinand VI, who chastised his nephew for wantonly siring an illegitimate child while he was married., while the other members of the family quietly disapproved of Sancho’s actions Of course, some thought that such a critique was hypocritical given that he had a bastard son, Ferdinand Fernandez, though he was quick to point out that his bastard was born when he was a widower, after the demise of his first wife, Mary Tudor the Elder.

Speaking of the Royal bastard, young Ferdinand Fernandez was granted the title of Duke of Pastrana, by his father to give him an adequate income. He was also soon betrothed to Juana Pacheo(b.1527), the only child of Diego López Pacheco, 3rd Duke of Escalona by his late first wife. The girl was also additionally well connected as she also happened to be the stepdaughter of the King’s niece, Margarita de Trastámara, the Duchess of Escalona, who was only a few years older than her stepdaughter.
To appease Queen Philiberta, Ferdinand would create their only son, the Infante Felipe, Duke of Estremera, and would find him a suitable betrothal in the form of Anna of Savoy, his cousin once removed (thus permissible), the youngest daughter of Phillip of Savoy and Susanna of Bavaria.

To the west, in Portugal, at the Ribeira palace on March 17th, King Miguel I of Portugal and Catherine of England, Queen of Portugal would go on to have their penultimate child: The Infante Antonio, named for the King’s youngest brother, who had died in infancy thirty years before. Shortly after this their second eldest daughter, the Infanta Isabella, asked permission to marry the young Miguel de Menezes, 4th Marquis of Vila Real(b.1520), whom she had fallen in love with. Ultimately, King Miguel assented to the match, and the Infanta Isabella would wed Miguel de Menzes after her fifteenth birthday, in mid-May, concurrent with the elevation of Vila Real from Marquisate to Duchy, a rather lucrative perk of being the King’s son-in-law. Portuguese Chronicler João de Barros wrote in The Reign of King Miguel I “The Pious” of Portugal,” The second eldest Infanta bowed before her father, and implored him to allow her to marry the Marquis, speaking of the love she felt for him. The King who seldom denied his children something they wanted, gave his blessing to the Infanta to marry, and the smiling girl gave her father a tight embrace.”

In France, there was to be a cacophony of activity, as a result of several important births among the noble families, and most importantly, a royal marriage. The royal marriage in June was that of Prince Charles, Duke of Orleans, to Maria of Savoy, a granddaughter of Duke Philibert II of Savoy. The marriage, undertaken as one of several Valois marriages to buy peace from the other European powers. The Duc D’Orleans seemed to take well enough to his young wife, who quietly played the role of a dutiful wife, an astute manager of the Duchy’s finances while willing to overlook some of her husband’s flaws to make the marriage work. Chief among them would be his lust for the company of women, though for the first few years of the marriage he seemed to mostly direct his attentions towards his wife. Unlike the Dauphine, Maria of Savoy seemed to face less resentment, as the French nobility gave most of their ire towards the Austrians rather than the Savoyards. One of the Duchesse D’Orleans French ladies described her as,”A comely sensible, and intelligent young woman, I truly hope that the Duchess Maria has a happy marriage with Duke Charles.”
The aforementioned births would occur in the Houses of Bourbon, Lorraine and De Foix. The first of these would take place on March 19th, in the Duchy of Nemours where the heir to the Duchy: Jean de Foix, and his wife Charlotte de Bourbon would have their first child, a daughter named Louise, both for the current King’s late mother, as well his predecessor King Louis XII.

Two months later in Lorraine, on May 24th, Mary of England, and Francis of Lorraine had their third child that would come to term, a son named Antoine after his own father, the Duke. Sadly, the child was not long for this world, and died two days after his birth, to his mother’s heartbreak. Mary of England wrote in a letter to her mother Catherine of Aragon, the Queen of England,”Why must God punish us so? I have been pregnant four times, and yet we have only one living child... I am grateful for young Charles, but I do not know how much more loss I can take. Keep us in your prayers mother, for we will certainly need them. -Your grieving daughter, Mary Tudor.”

There was to be equally tragic news in the Duchy of Bourbon, for on August 18th it’s Duke, Peter III and the Duchess Eleanor de Foix would have their fourth child together. Unfortunately, their son Gaston, named for his maternal grandfather, was born two months early and died hours after his birth.

Across the English Channel in England there was to be happier news, for Anne of Cleves, the Princess of Wales, was pregnant again. After several months of a particularly grueling pregnancy, Anne would give birth a month early on February 19th, to a frightfully small son. Despite the fears of the King and Queen, the boy would live through the fragile weeks following his birth, and would be named William, after his maternal uncle, the newly ascended Duke William “The Rich” of Cleves, who would be one of the child’s godfathers. The three other godparents would mostly be rather predictable, for they were all Aunts and Uncles of little William. They would be: Prince Henry, Duke of York, his wife Amalia of Cleves and his paternal Aunt Elizabeth of England. Some have noted that including Elizabeth, while not making her husband Philibert Godfather was an intentional slight towards the man that had been frequently unfaithful to the second eldest daughter of Henry and Catherine.
In the Duchy of Somerset, ruled by Prince Edmund, King Henry’s only living brother, the Duchess, Katherine Stafford, began to show signs of a mysterious illness, suffering from bone pain, short breath and yellowing of her skin. While she would live through the year, modern doctors concluded that it was Breast Cancer, that afflicted the Duchess.

To the north in Scotland, there would be a key birth, for Madeline of Valois had disproved all those who thought her incapable of bringing a child to term. Ultimately, after a surprisingly easy pregnancy, Madeline would give birth to a healthy son on May 22nd, naturally named James for his father. While the Queen of Scots seemed to recover well, this would provide false hopes, for barely two months later, she would catch Tuberculosis and die in her husband’s arms. In spite of protests from the Royal Physicians, King James refused to leave his beloved wife’s side. Thus, the young Queen of Scot’s passed from this world, loved by her new people for her kindness, as well as for delivering the vital male heir, and she would be known as “Good Queen Madeline.” By the people of Scotland.

Across the North Sea, other than some births, things would continue to be rather quiet in Scandinavia. In Denmark, on November 7th, Crown Prince John, and Edith of England would have their second child, a son named Frederick. Tragically, the baby would die several weeks later on November 26th, much to their concentration.

To the East in Sweden, the House of Vasa would suffer similar misfortune, for one July 1st, Hedwig of Poland would give birth to her sixth child, a son named Charles, who would live for only one day, dying on July 2nd.

To the South, across the Baltic Sea, at Warsaw on February 20th, Crown Prince Sigismund and Bianca Maria Sforza would have their third child, named Casimir for his youngest brother. Again, tragedy would strike, and the infant would die a month later, on April 21st.

In Bavaria meanwhile, there would be a ray of happier news, a long-awaited wedding. This wedding was between the seventeen-year-old Princess Christina of Denmark, and the sixteen-year-old Albert of Bavaria, his father’s only son and heir. Husband and wife seemed to be happy with one another, a beautiful and charming Princess marrying a capable and handsome young man, who would one day become Duke.

Across the Alps, in Savoy death would strike once more, for Duke Phiibert II of Savoy, who despite still keeping his Spanish mistress, Teresa De Bivero, had been greatly saddened by his wife Maria of Aragon’s death, and his health had been in a gradual decline over the past four years famously stating,”Her death was the only time she has ever caused me displeasure.” Ultimately, Duke Philibert II of Savoy would die of Pleurisy on September 10th, and his son would become Duke Phillip II of Savoy. Two months later on December 26th, Philibert of Savoy, namesake of his grandfather, and now heir to his father’s duchy would have his fourth child, a daughter named Margaret, after his wife Elizabeth’s aunt, the Dowager Queen of Scotland, as well as his aunt by marriage (and a second cousin of his, via his maternal Wittelsbach family) , Margaret of Austria, the Dowager Queen of Spain.

In Italy, this year would be a rather eventful one, with a number of marriages, deaths and births. In Milan, on July 28th, Duke Ludovico II of Milan and Renee of France would have their sixth and penultimate child, a daughter. As for the name of their daughter, they decided to choose a unique name that had never been used in their family before, driven by a compromise over the choice. The Duke wanted to name their daughter Camilla, whereas the Duchess wanted to name her Dorotea Thus, they decided to give their daughter the name Camilla Dorotea, which sparked the use of the name throughout Italy.

To the South, in Ferrara, Duke Ercole II and Catherine of Austria would have their sixth child, on January 15th, a daughter born a day after her thirty-second birthday. They would decide to name their daughter Giovanna, the Italian variant of her mother Juana of Aragon’s name. It was just before this that they betrothed their eldest son, Alfonso, to Matilda of Savoy, second eldest daughter of Phillip of Savoy.

In Naples, there were to be two different events, one a cause for happiness, and another a cause for anguish. The first of these, was the death of Giovanna of Naples, Princess of Squillace on August 27th, of a Heart Attack at the age of sixty, leaving her husband, Gioffre Borgia, a depressed widower, who would follow her to the grave less than a decade later.

The happier event, which occurred in October, was the wedding between Frederick, Duke of Calabria and Marguerite of France (known as Margherita in Naples). Unlike his father, Frederick would prove to be a gallant and faithful husband, and Marguerite of France, unlike her mother-in-law, had a very pleasant, and oblique personality. The two also shared interests in intellectual pursuits, such as chess, and would both become famous patrons of the arts. Thus, the two would enjoy a very happy and loving marriage.

Maria of Savoy, Duchess of Orleans

Prince Charles of France, Duke of Orleans
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Infanta Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Vila Real
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Miguel de Menzes, Duke of Vila Real

Ps: portaits of Albert of Bavria, Christina of Denmark as well as The Duke and Duchess of Calabria will be in another post, lest I go over the image limit and they become unavailable.
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