ADVANTAGES

Henri married Catherine de Medici. It was a political move and he probably had very little say in the matter. But the relationship with Diane continued (despite the fact Catherine was 19 years younger than Diane) and Catherine produced no heirs for nine years. When Henri became king in 1547 he was 30 and Diane was 47. Diane became the most powerful woman in the kingdom. It was only when Catherine was about to be sent back to Italy because of sterility that Diane insisted that Henri visit her in her chambers to produce heirs. She probably did this because Catherine could be controlled, and any other future queen was an unknown quantity. Curiously there is a lot of evidence that Catherine and Diane were close, spending a lot of time together; Diane nursed her back to health when she was ill with scarlet fever for example. Nevertheless, together Henri and Diane created a love symbol that was engraved over all Paris – two interwoven D’s with a line through the middle forming an H. All state documents were signed HenriDiane.

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