Chapter One - The Betrothal New
Since he was very young, the subject of the marriage of King Sebastian I of Portugal was one of much discussion at the court of the Paço da Ribeira. Shortly after his birth, which happened two weeks after the death of his father, Fernando Abarca Maldonado, a doctor who had come with Joanna of Austria to Portugal, cast his horoscope, predicting that the young prince would be very attracted to women, marry and father many children. Dowager Queen Catherine of Austria, the young king’s grandmother, seemed intent on forcing this future to happen sooner than later, and quickly began to analyze potential brides.

A woman of a good catholic family was essential, and by the King’s twelfth birthday, it had come down to three names: the sisters Anna and Elisabeth of Austria, daughters of Sebastian’s aunt Maria of Austria with the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Marguerite of Valois, daughter of the now-deceased King Henry II of France and the famous Catherine de’ Medici. Dominated by his grandmother since birth, the consent of Sebastian, called Sebastião by his subjects, was almost guaranteed.

As a Habsburg and Archduchess of Austria by birth, the dowager Queen preferred the match with one of her great-nieces, but, after resigning from her role of regent in 1562, she had no power to assert her choices. The regent at the time, and brother-in-law to Queen Catherine, the Infante-Cardinal Henry, who, after watching three generations of men from his family marry Habsburgs (father, brother, and nephew) had reservations about the Austrian match. He felt that they had allowed themselves to be too influenced by the Habsburgs, forgetting their roots and power.

Princess Marguerite was thus chosen. As a younger sister of the French King, the match could award Portugal with a precious ally, and, after the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Margaret’s sister, Elisabeth, pleasing to all parties involved.

Eight months older than her intended, Margaret of Valois was considered beautiful, cultured, and refined. Called the ‘pearl of Valois’, many at court felt the King would be satisfied with his bride, who, after seeing a portrait of hers by François Clouet, is rumored to have said, “The pearl of Paris will soon be the pearl of Lisbon.”

The negotiations would last for at least two years, but Catherine de’ Medici, who had long nurtured a plan to marry her youngest daughter to the Portuguese King had, as early as 1566, added the Portuguese language to her studies, alongside Latin, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and her native French. At the age of fourteen, during the reign of her brother Charles IX, Margaret began to be treated as the future Queen of Portugal and may have seen herself as such since she asked her remaining brothers to call her Margarida, the Portuguese version of her name. The young girl seemed eager for her life in Portugal and devoted to the portrait sent by Infante Henry that showed a tall and blonde handsome youth. "Marguerite prays for the King's health and safety, hoping she is on his mind in the same way that he is in hers," Catherine de Medici wrote to her son, Henry, Duke of Anjou.

As France followed Salic law, it would be impossible for either Margaret or her descendants to inherit the throne on their own, and so the negotiations, aside from the usual discussion of dowry and jewels to be taken to Portugal, focused on what would happen if Margaret were to be left a widow. It was decided that, if she were childless, she would return to France with her jewels and dowry, but, if one of her children, either a son or a daughter, ascended to the throne, she would be allowed to remain at the Portuguese court.

Her dowry was decided at 200,000 livres and, on the 24th of June of 1568, Margaret of Valois began her travel to Portugal. Although King Philip II of Spain, an uncle to King Sebastian and brother-in-law to Princess Marguerite, promised her safe conduct through his territories, Catherine de’ Medici insisted on the young bride traveling through the sea. The excuse that it would be quicker prevented any offense taken by the monarch and, on the 09th of September, three months after her departure from France, Princess Marguerite arrived in Lisbon.


Marguerite du Valois by François Clouet


Sebastião I de Portugal, attributed to Cristóvão de Morais.
 
She never had any children, but I'm hoping to butterfly this away. Nothing to worry about
Well I don't think it's butterfly-able, since Margaret has the same genetic makeup as IOTL. But perhaps there was something Margaret and Henry IV together that prevented them from having a child.
 
Since he was very young, the subject of the marriage of King Sebastian I of Portugal was one of much discussion at the court of the Paço da Ribeira. Shortly after his birth, which happened two weeks after the death of his father, Fernando Abarca Maldonado, a doctor who had come with Joanna of Austria to Portugal, cast his horoscope, predicting that the young prince would be very attracted to women, marry and father many children. Dowager Queen Catherine of Austria, the young king’s grandmother, seemed intent on forcing this future to happen sooner than later, and quickly began to analyze potential brides.

A woman of a good catholic family was essential, and by the King’s twelfth birthday, it had come down to three names: the sisters Anna and Elisabeth of Austria, daughters of Sebastian’s aunt Maria of Austria with the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Marguerite of Valois, daughter of the now-deceased King Henry II of France and the famous Catherine de’ Medici. Dominated by his grandmother since birth, the consent of Sebastian, called Sebastião by his subjects, was almost guaranteed.

As a Habsburg and Archduchess of Austria by birth, the dowager Queen preferred the match with one of her great-nieces, but, after resigning from her role of regent in 1562, she had no power to assert her choices. The regent at the time, and brother-in-law to Queen Catherine, the Infante-Cardinal Henry, who, after watching three generations of men from his family marry Habsburgs (father, brother, and nephew) had reservations about the Austrian match. He felt that they had allowed themselves to be too influenced by the Habsburgs, forgetting their roots and power.

Princess Marguerite was thus chosen. As a younger sister of the French King, the match could award Portugal with a precious ally, and, after the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Margaret’s sister, Elisabeth, pleasing to all parties involved.

Eight months older than her intended, Margaret of Valois was considered beautiful, cultured, and refined. Called the ‘pearl of Valois’, many at court felt the King would be satisfied with his bride, who, after seeing a portrait of hers by François Clouet, is rumored to have said, “The pearl of Paris will soon be the pearl of Lisbon.”

The negotiations would last for at least two years, but Catherine de’ Medici, who had long nurtured a plan to marry her youngest daughter to the Portuguese King had, as early as 1566, added the Portuguese language to her studies, alongside Latin, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and her native French. At the age of fourteen, during the reign of her brother Charles IX, Margaret began to be treated as the future Queen of Portugal and may have seen herself as such since she asked her remaining brothers to call her Margarida, the Portuguese version of her name. The young girl seemed eager for her life in Portugal and devoted to the portrait sent by Infante Henry that showed a tall and blonde handsome youth. "Marguerite prays for the King's health and safety, hoping she is on his mind in the same way that he is in hers," Catherine de Medici wrote to her son, Henry, Duke of Anjou.

As France followed Salic law, it would be impossible for either Margaret or her descendants to inherit the throne on their own, and so the negotiations, aside from the usual discussion of dowry and jewels to be taken to Portugal, focused on what would happen if Margaret were to be left a widow. It was decided that, if she were childless, she would return to France with her jewels and dowry, but, if one of her children, either a son or a daughter, ascended to the throne, she would be allowed to remain at the Portuguese court.

Her dowry was decided at 200,000 livres and, on the 24th of June of 1568, Margaret of Valois began her travel to Portugal. Although King Philip II of Spain, an uncle to King Sebastian and brother-in-law to Princess Marguerite, promised her safe conduct through his territories, Catherine de’ Medici insisted on the young bride traveling through the sea. The excuse that it would be quicker prevented any offense taken by the monarch and, on the 09th of September, three months after her departure from France, Princess Marguerite arrived in Lisbon.


Marguerite du Valois by François Clouet


Sebastião I de Portugal, attributed to Cristóvão de Morais.
A) Threadmark this plz! I almost missed this....
B) When is the PoD, exactly?
 
Wasn’t princess Marguerite barren?
Well I don't think it's butterfly-able, since Margaret has the same genetic makeup as IOTL. But perhaps there was something Margaret and Henry IV together that prevented them from having a child.
Pretty unlikely she was barren. Her wedding was a disaster, is not unlikely who she do not wished children or some early miscarriage of which we have no heard ruined her.
 
Finally a TL featuring a surviving Sebastian of Portugal! No one ever seems to pay him any mind, poor boy. It seems great already and I'm looking forward to see where you take this.
 
As I recall, the marriage between Sebastián de Portugal and Marguerite of Valois had been promoted by Cardinal Henry (Sebastian's great-uncle), but Sebastian's lack of interest in getting married (due to religious fanaticism, homosexuality, or other motive) and the strong King Philip II's opposition to the marriage foiled the agreement.
Spain (and Catherine of Austria, Sebastian's grandmother) wanted a Habsburg as Sebastian's wife.

On the other hand, I doubt that the French princess is sterile, I even doubt if the marriage was really consummated. Henry IV of Bourbon really hated Margaret, being the representative of the Valois, the former French dynasty. Henry even discredited her by making rumors against her, to erase any positive image of the Valois, calling her Queen Margot (somewhat derogatory). This may also be due to the fact that Marguerite was considered skilled in letters, culture and an enlightened woman for the time.

PS: From what I know about Sebastián, the boy hated to rule, but he liked hunting (he had long hunting campaigns) and he prepared wars against the infidels, considering himself a commander of Jesus' army.
It is probable that Cardinal Henry or his grandmother, Catherine of Austria, and other councilors, have ruled Portugal because of Sebastian's absence (hunts) or because of his lack of interest. Should the marriage happen, Marguerite is likely to be the one to rule Portugal, a good thing for Portugal from what we know of Marguerite's intellectual abilities.

PS: If Sebastian has a son or daughter, don't marry him or her to the Habsburgs or to someone who has Fernando II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile as ancestors, because they are both Sebastian's great-grandparents 4 times. Sebastian also has Maximilian I of the HRE and María de Borgoña, and Fernando de Portugal and Beatriz de Aveiro as his great-grandparents 2 times. Having only 6 great-grandparents instead of 16. If a Habsburg is essential, let it be an Austrian, at least they have Jagellon and Wittelsbach blood to reduce the problem.
 
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Chapter Two - The Princess and the Queen New
The House of Aviz, called Casa de Avis in Portuguese, or the Joanine Dynasty had ruled Portugal and its dominions since 1385. Under the rules of Sebastian’s great-grandfather and grandfather, Manuel I and João III, the Portuguese Empire reached its zenith, ruling over territories in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Unlike many others, the Portuguese aspired to trade the goods found in their lands, not to colonize them, and the government of what would later become Brazil is a good example of that. By 1568, the colony in South America was mainly used for the production of sugar and the harvest of brazilwood, a tree whose wood could be used for producing red-dye or bows for stringed instruments. It appeared this approach to the ruling of colonies was successful, as Portugal would remain one of, if not the, wealthiest countries in Europe.

Since 1503, however, French raids were conducted on the coast of Brazil, encouraged by King Francis I, smuggling brazilwood through a trading post constructed in one of the islands off the shores. Even sixty years later, the problem was troubling enough to the Portuguese that one of the demands for the wedding of Marguerite and Sebastião to happen was the prohibition of such adventures by the French court. Charles IX and his mother, Catherine de’ Medici agreed, but not before extracting exclusive trading deals with Portugal, the likes of which were only shared by the Netherlands.

Despite the success in the political field, by the time of Sebastian’s marriage to Margaret of Valois, the House of Aviz had been experiencing a steady decline in terms of the number and health of its members. King Sebastian’s grandfather, João III, had nine children with his first cousin, Catherine of Austria, but only two survived past childhood: Sebastião’s father, João Manuel, and Princess Maria Manuela, dead since 1545 after suffering a hemorrhage at the birth of her son, Don Carlos, who had died a month to the day before Princess Marguerite left France. King Manuel I, on the other hand, had ten children with Queen Maria of Aragon, seven sons with only one not living to adulthood. Despite this promising start, after the death of João III, only three male members of House Aviz remained, including King Sebastian. Infantes Luís and Fernando had no surviving legitimate issue, as the legitimacy of Luís’ son, António, is debatable to this day; Infantes Afonso and Henrique were cardinals, bound by oath to never marry and produce children; and Infante Duarte’s posthumous son, also called Duarte, was still unmarried by 1568.

And so, it was imperative that his marriage to Margaret Valois be a great success. It was rumored at the french court that Margaret was only chosen because her mother had ten children, five of whom were sons, and her older sister Claude recently gave birth to her fourth child, after already producing two healthy boys. No matter the reason, Marguerite’s arrival in Lisbon was much celebrated.

As the only child of Queen Catherine not to inherit her physical deformities (namely, a clubfoot and hunchback), Margaret was seen as beautiful, and her portraits show a woman with brown eyes and blonde hair, although her childhood portraits have her with dark brown hair. Upon seeing her for the first time, King Sebastian, aged fourteen, exclaimed, “Minha pérola!”, or My pearl. The nickname stuck and would be used by the King in all of his letters to her, even during their rare fights.

The marriage between the two teenagers would be held three days after Marguerite’s arrival in Portugal, although the celebrations for her arrival started immediately and would last for two years. Their initial impressions of each other were favorable, with Margaret surprising her husband and his family by speaking Portuguese with a slight accent and declaring her eternal loyalty to His Majesty. Sebastian and Margaret consummated the marriage a week after the religious ceremony, and Marguerite was crowned three months later.

King Sebastian, who had always been a lonely child, was eager to find friendship in his wife, as, unlike her, he had not grown up with siblings. Marguerite charmed her husband with her wit and knowledge, with some historians proposing that she hoped to rule alongside him, or in the position of regent, for during her entire life she had been taught by her mother the intricacy of politics.

No matter her true intentions, Margarida, as she was now called, faced her first difficulty in her role of Queen in the form of Catherine of Austria, the King’s grandmother. A domineering woman who had exercised firm control over her grandson as he grew, both women wished to be the most important person in Sebastian’s life, knowing their power could only come with his love. Many years earlier she had clashed with Juana of Austria, Sebastian’s mother, over the role of regent for the boy. With the influence of her brother Charles, Catherine won, and Juana returned to her native to her brother’s court shortly after giving birth.

Catherine may have thought this to be a war only she could win, as she had known Sebastian his entire life, and controlled him his entire life, but Margarida would soon prove her wrong. In February of 1569, it was announced: the Queen was pregnant.


The Portuguese Empire during the reign of King João III.


Dowager Queen Catherine of Austria by Anthonis Mor.
 
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i think a lot of that green on Africa might be a bit anachronistic, is that real or just claims?
As far as I know, it's real. I'm Brazilian, so I had to learn about the Portuguese empire during middle school and high school. The Portuguese were the first to be able to go around Africa, finding another path to India (which is why Columbus later offered to go around the globe for the catholic monarchs, since the Portuguese were able to buy spices much cheaper than the Spanish), and to secure the African coast against any other countries that had any ideas, they built fortresses on them. They used the same idea on Brazil, to ward off French raids. I'm pretty sure some of them have survived to this day, although I'd have to check.
 
i think a lot of that green on Africa might be a bit anachronistic, is that real or just claims?
As far as I know, it's real. I'm Brazilian, so I had to learn about the Portuguese empire during middle school and high school. The Portuguese were the first to be able to go around Africa, finding another path to India (which is why Columbus later offered to go around the globe for the catholic monarchs, since the Portuguese were able to buy spices much cheaper than the Spanish), and to secure the African coast against any other countries that had any ideas, they built fortresses on them. They used the same idea on Brazil, to ward off French raids. I'm pretty sure some of them have survived to this day, although I'd have to check.
All the squares in the map are effectively controlled by Portugal, in Brazil is the claimed area and so is Africa with the exception of part of Mozambique. My guess is that those areas in green are areas in which the Portuguese interacted and traded with besides claiming.

I look forward to seeing where this TL goes. Sebastian is a product of his instruction and lack of parenthood, he is pretty hard to work with in a TL (as pointed out already, he was likely homosexual and did not enjoy the feminine company besides his grandmother and I also read he got gonorrhea at an early age but these are just rumors and don't invalidate the TL) but you seem to be doing fine. So good luck.
 
All the squares in the map are effectively controlled by Portugal, in Brazil is the claimed area and so is Africa with the exception of part of Mozambique. My guess is that those areas in green are areas in which the Portuguese interacted and traded with besides claiming.

I look forward to seeing where this TL goes. Sebastian is a product of his instruction and lack of parenthood, he is pretty hard to work with in a TL (as pointed out already, he was likely homosexual and did not enjoy the feminine company besides his grandmother and I also read he got gonorrhea at an early age but these are just rumors and don't invalidate the TL) but you seem to be doing fine. So good luck.
I'm well aware of the rumors of Sebastian's sexuality, which is still a debate to this day, and I want to assure everyone that I'm not planning on simply ignoring them for the sake of my TL. Although I understand the evidence regarding Sebastian's preference for men around him, I want to keep in my mind that sexuality, as we see today, is more of a spectrum than a balance.

However, I have decided to ignore the gonorrhea idea, because if it were true, then Sebastian was sexually assaulted as a child, which kind of makes me very angry on his behalf. I have read a paper that said this abuse turned Sebastian gay, which bothers me a lot since there would be violence behind his sexuality, and that is not a vision I like. Hope that pleases all the readers!
 
That's very interesting...I had not heard that D. Sebastiaō was said to be homosexual. I cannot read Portuguese, but does anyone else know what contemporaries said about this? I did see cited in a paper that he was possibly abused by his confessor as a boy, and that he used to take walks at night which were used a pretext for homosexual encounters.
 
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