WI: Margaret of Valois, Elisabeth of Valois and Elisabeth of Austria bore male heirs?

OTL, these three queens were unable to bear healthy male children, causing great turmoil. What if they had surviving sons, though?


Let us say that these are their sons:
Antoine, son of Margaret and Henry of France and Navarre (b. 1573)
Charles, son of Charles IX and Elisabeth (b. 1571)
Philip, son of Philip II and Elisabeth (b. 1564)
 
For one, Navarre will remain independent and Protestant for the time being. The French succession is stabilized with the new dauphin, while the next Spanish monarch is blood-related to the Valois. In theory, France and Spain should be more closely allied to one another, but that probably won't be the case, what with the long-standing Habsburg-Valois rivalry.
 
Your Philip becomes king of Spain as an ATL Philip III.
Your Charles becomes king of France as an ATL Charles X.
Your Antoine becomes king of Navarre as an ATL Antoine I (but not king of France, except if ATL Charles X dies without any son and his uncles still die without any son too).
OTL Henry III stays king of Poland, meaning Stephen Báthory stays prince of Transylvania and Sigismund Vasa stays king of Sweden.

ATL Philip III would be much less inbred than OTL Philip III and may have better intellectual abilities, meaning he may be a better king. Of course, this is pure speculation.
Philip II may or may not marry Anna of Austria after Elisabeth of Valois' death. If he still marries her and still has a surviving son with her, this surviving son is likely to inherit Netherlands but it would be a poisoned gift.

ATL Charles X would still be a very young child at the time of Charles IX's death, meaning there would be a regency. Obviously, Elisabeth of Austria is the logical choice. However, she did not even speak French. I don't know at all what kind of relationship she had with her mother-in-law Catherine de Medici in OTL. Maybe she would agree to let regency to Catherine who is far more experienced.

ATL Antoine I is born in 1573. It means he is born at French court, before the time his father Henry of Navarre escaped (or was let to escape). As a result, he is likely to be raised in French court by his mother and his grandmother and, therefore, would be Catholic.

The years after Charles IX's death are likely to be very difficult with an infant king and a regent either totally unexperienced (if that's Elisabeth) either overall hated (if that's Catherine) to deal with the Malcontents.
However, at least, succession would be secured for Catholics meaning, on the long term, it may avoid the crisis with the League. It is likely that some Leaguers would still have requirements but it would not turn as bad as in OTL.
As for Protestants, they are likely to be defeated sooner or later (especially if the next king of Navarre is Catholic).

Henry of Poland would have to deal with his new kingdom. In OTL, it was pretty difficult for him but we have to take into account that he stayed only four months. He would probably adapt with time. He would have no choice anyway.
An important point is his marriage. If he wants to have a son and wants this son to have a chance to be elected after him, he needs to marry a Jagiellon descendant.
He was supposed to marry Anna Jagiellon in OTL but she was too old to give him children and he dellayed the marriage until Charles IX's death. Then, he came back to France.
If he stays in Poland in this ATL, he needs to take a decision about that. I once suggested that, instead of Anna, he may marry her half-niece Elisabeth-Magdalena of Brandenbourg but I was answered this marriage would not help him in any way (https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...lives-till-age-60.507162/page-2#post-21747724).

Stephen Báthory would be fine staying in Transylvania, I guess.

Sigismund Vasa would be in a difficult position. He would be the Catholic king of a Lutheran country.
I see four possibilities:
1. He converts to Lutheranism.
2. He is allowed to stay Catholic but Lutherans still dominate the country.
3. He manages to make Sweden Catholic again (ambitious but who knows?).
4. He ends up being overthrown and his Lutheran uncle Charles becomes king as in OTL.
 
Last edited:
The House of Bourbon would be robbed of taking control of both of their OTL kingdoms many years before they would be in a position to take either one (but, instead, as the monarchs of Navarre, would be sandwiched in between them).
 
oo
Your Philip becomes king of Spain as an ATL Philip III.
Your Charles becomes king of France as an ATL Charles X.
Your Antoine becomes king of Navarre as an ATL Antoine I (but not king of France, except if ATL Charles X dies without any son and his uncles still die without any son too).
OTL Henry III stays king of Poland, meaning Stephen Báthory stays prince of Transylvania and Sigismund Vasa stays king of Sweden.

ATL Philip III would be much less inbred than OTL Philip III and may have better intellectual abilities, meaning he may be a better king. Of course, this is pure speculation.
Philip II may or may not marry Anna of Austria after Elisabeth of Valois' death. If he still marries her and still has a surviving son with her, this surviving son is likely to inherit Netherlands but it would be a poisoned gift.

ATL Charles X would still be a very young child at the time of Charles IX's death, meaning there would be a regency. Obviously, Elisabeth of Austria is the logical choice. However, she did not even speak French. I don't know at all what kind of relationship she had with her mother-in-law Catherine de Medici in OTL. Maybe she would agree to let regency to Catherine who is far more experienced.

ATL Antoine I is born in 1573. It means he is born at French court, before the time his father Henry of Navarre escaped (or was let to escape). As a result, he is likely to be raised in French court by his mother and his grandmother and, therefore, would be Catholic.

The years after Charles IX's death are likely to be very difficult with an infant king and a regent either totally unexperienced (if that's Elisabeth) either overall hated (if that's Catherine) to deal with the Malcontents.
However, at least, succession would be secured for Catholics meaning, on the long term, it may avoid the crisis with the League. It is likely that some Leaguers would still have requirements but it would not turn as bad as in OTL.
As for Protestants, they are likely to be defeated sooner or later (especially if the next king of Navarre is Catholic).

Henry of Poland would have to deal with his new kingdom. In OTL, it was pretty difficult for him but we have to take into account that he stayed only four months. He would probably adapt with time. He would have no choice anyway.
An important point is his marriage. If he wants to have a son and wants this son to have a chance to be elected after him, he needs to marry a Jagiellon descendant.
He was supposed to marry Anna Jagiellon in OTL but she was too old to give him children and he dellayed the marriage until Charles IX's death. Then, he came back to France.
If he stays in Poland in this ATL, he needs to take a decision about that. I once suggested that, instead of Anna, he may marry her half-niece Elisabeth-Magdalena of Brandenbourg but I was answered this marriage would not help him in any way (https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...lives-till-age-60.507162/page-2#post-21747724).

Stephen Báthory would be fine staying in Transylvania, I guess.

Sigismund Vasa would be in a difficult position. He would be the Catholic king of a Lutheran country.
I see four possibilities:
1. He converts to Lutheranism.
2. He is allowed to stay Catholic but Lutherans still dominate the country.
3. He manages to make Sweden Catholic again (ambitious but who knows?).
4. He ends up being overthrown and his Lutheran uncle Charles becomes king as in OTL.
oooh thank you I didn't expect your answer to be this long!! thank you <3 (Can you explain the "poisoned gift" part?) And I really cannot imagine Sigismund Vasa converting tbh. 3 won't work, Mary I is proof of that, but he could try, certainly. I wonder how Henry does in Poland tbh
 
For one, Navarre will remain independent and Protestant for the time being. The French succession is stabilized with the new dauphin, while the next Spanish monarch is blood-related to the Valois. In theory, France and Spain should be more closely allied to one another, but that probably won't be the case, what with the long-standing Habsburg-Valois rivalry.
There's a Habsburg-Valois rivalry, yeah, but with the next monarch being tied to both, surely he will get them to settle their shit and calm down at least during his reign? I feel bad for England in this case tbh
 
Charles born in 1571 will be King of France instead of Henry
And Henri IV likely gets bopped off as soon as his son is born.
For one, Navarre will remain independent and Protestant for the time being. The French succession is stabilized with the new dauphin, while the next Spanish monarch is blood-related to the Valois. In theory, France and Spain should be more closely allied to one another, but that probably won't be the case, what with the long-standing Habsburg-Valois rivalry.
Not really. See my previous point. Catherine de Medicis will likely insist her grandson be raised in Paris (and Navarre doesn't really have the power to resist) and Catholic.

@FouDuRoy : what about a Swedish match for Henryk of Poland? Catherine de Medicis wanted Elisabeth of Sweden for him, but IF Anna Jagiellon were to see sense (or die ahead of schedule), perhaps Henryk could instead wed her niece, Anna Wasa? @Jan Olbracht @Zygmunt Stary @Valena
 
And Henri IV likely gets bopped off as soon as his son is born.

Not really. See my previous point. Catherine de Medicis will likely insist her grandson be raised in Paris (and Navarre doesn't really have the power to resist) and Catholic.

@FouDuRoy : what about a Swedish match for Henryk of Poland? Catherine de Medicis wanted Elisabeth of Sweden for him, but IF Anna Jagiellon were to see sense (or die ahead of schedule), perhaps Henryk could instead wed her niece, Anna Wasa? @Jan Olbracht @Zygmunt Stary @Valena

Certainly Henryk Walezy would not be willing to marry Anna Jagiellon once he is already elected. Anna's Swedish niece and namesake would be available around 1580, not too late.
 
@FouDuRoy: no way who Elisabeth would leave her son’s regency to her mother-in-law to which she was not close, specially not after St. Bartholomew. If anything she will likely allow the Guisas or the Cardinal of Bourbon to take the most of the ruling, while remaining the formal Regent
 
Because they are the heads of Catholic faction, maybe? And I said to take over the power/government not the regency. Elisabeth will be the regent for her son, no way that will go differently or Catherine de’ Medicis would never be allowed to get near the regency
True. I wonder how a Valois regent for a Habsburg monarch will go...
 
True. I wonder how a Valois regent for a Habsburg monarch will go...
Considering who the Habsburg regent is the mother of the Valois King is likely things would go not too bad (France in OTL had an Habsburg regent for a Bourbon King and she had not done a bad job, true who she was well helped and much tougher than Elisabeth but is still a good example)
 
oooh thank you I didn't expect your answer to be this long!! thank you <3
When it is about the Valois-Angoulême, I can go very far. 😁

Can you explain the "poisoned gift" part?
It was the time of the Eighty Years' War. Dutch Protestant rebels were fighting the Habsburgs' authority. In OTL, this war ended up with the formation of the Dutch Republic.
Dealing with that would be very difficult for ATL Philip III's younger half-brother.

3 won't work, Mary I is proof of that, but he could try, certainly.
I don't know. Sweden is not England and Sigismund is not Mary.
I do not know Swedish History enough to know how plausible a come back to Catholicism was in this time.

what about a Swedish match for Henryk of Poland? Catherine de Medicis wanted Elisabeth of Sweden for him, but IF Anna Jagiellon were to see sense (or die ahead of schedule), perhaps Henryk could instead wed her niece, Anna Wasa? @Jan Olbracht @Zygmunt Stary @Valena
Certainly Henryk Walezy would not be willing to marry Anna Jagiellon once he is already elected. Anna's Swedish niece and namesake would be available around 1580, not too late.
I am not sure.
I thought Elisabeth-Magdalena was the most strategic choice because she was Sigismund I's most senior descendant, being his eldest daughter's eldest daughter.
However, @Zygmunt Stary answered the Vasas had more significant position because of being descendants of Sigismund II's full-sister instead of his half-sister.
In any case, a marriage between Henry and Anna Vasa would have some problems.
When he came to Poland in 1574, she was too young to marry. He has to wait at least until 1580. It is not that long but, meanwhile, it is pretty sure Polish nobility would pressure him to marry Anna Jagiellon. After all, they elected him because Jean de Montluc had promised he would marry her. But more important: I am pretty sure many Polish noblemen wanted to prevent Henry to marry a younger Jagiellon descendant who may give him a son. Why? Simply to be sure Polish royalty would stay elective.
Sure, Henry can marry Anna Jagiellon and wait her death to marry Anna Vasa. However, he doesn't know how long Anna Jagiellon will live and he has no reason to assume Anna Vasa would not marry someone else before her aunt's death.
And, last but not least, it is pretty likely that Sigismund Vasa (or a son of him if Henry outlives him) will be candidate to Henry's succession. Against Henry's hypothetical son.
Would John III of Sweden approve a marriage that would weaken Sigismund's candidacy? I am not sure at all, especially considering John III had himself been candidate against Henry.
Elisabeth-Magdalena of Brandenbourg, in addition of being Sigismund I's most senior descendant, was in the right age and available to marry in 1574. Moreover, her brothers were already dead without issue, meaning there is no potential competitor on this side.

no way who Elisabeth would leave her son’s regency to her mother-in-law to which she was not close, specially not after St. Bartholomew. If anything she will likely allow the Guisas or the Cardinal of Bourbon to take the most of the ruling, while remaining the formal Regent
After the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre, an anonymous pamphlet claimed the Guises were male line descendants of Charlemagne and should replace the Valois on the throne of France. The Guises said they had no knowledge about that and did not want to take the throne. But, of course, they had to say that. Saying otherwise would've been open rebellion.
If Elisabeth wants to protect her son and preserve the throne for him, giving some power to the Guises is the last thing to do.
As for the Cardinal of Bourbon... Yeah... Maybe this one would be a suitable ally to Elisabeth.
 
Last edited:
Top