What if “The Surprise of Meaux” had not failed as it did in OTL ?
On the 28th September 1567, at the Chateau of Montceaux near Meaux in the Brie, Charles IX and the royal family were taken by surprise. Louis, Prince of Conde, had surrounded the chateau with a mass of armed Protestants.
Despite the best efforts of the royal retinue, Conde's men prevented anyone from leaving. The weak and easily-persuaded King was told that there was a plot against him by unknown Italians, and thus this was for his own safety. His mother, Catherine de Medici, was not so easily convinced, but she was kept in a separate room. The Cent-Suisses, the royal bodyguard, were intercepted by Protestant troops and put to the sword.
The news was passed swiftly to the Huguenot forces in the neighbouring areas. At nearby Meaux, a Huguenot stronghold, full freedom of religion was declared in the town. The Admiral de Coligny's men moved swiftly to take over the main roads to Paris to prevent communication.
And the history of France started changing from there on…