Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the French king. For the sex i zwierzeta and classical historian, see Henri Valois.
King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575 and King of France from 1574 until his death. He was the last French monarch of the House of Valois. After the death of Henry’s younger brother Francis, Duke of Anjou, and when it became apparent that Henry would not produce an heir, the Wars of Religion developed into a succession crisis, the War of the Three Henrys. In 1589, Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic, murdered Henry III. He was succeeded by the King of Navarre who, as Henry IV, assumed the throne of France after converting to Catholicism, as the first French king of the House of Bourbon.
Henry was born at the royal Château de Fontainebleau, the fourth son of King Henry II and Catherine de’ Medici and grandson of Francis I of France and Claude of France. His elder brother, Charles, grew to detest him, partially because he resented his better health. In his youth, Henry was considered the best of the sons of Catherine de’ Medici and Henry II. Unlike his father and elder brothers, he had little interest in the traditional Valois pastimes of hunting and physical exercise. Although he was both fond of fencing and skilled in it, he preferred to indulge his tastes for the arts and reading. These predilections were attributed to his Italian mother. At one point in his youth he showed a tendency towards Protestantism as a means of rebelling.
Henry III by Étienne Dumonstier, c. Reports that Henry engaged in same sex relations with his court favourites, known as the mignons, date back to his own time. Certainly he enjoyed intense relationships with them. Gary Ferguson found their interpretations unconvincing: “It is difficult to reconcile the king whose use of favourites is so logically strategic with the man who goes to pieces when one of them dies. In 1570, discussions commenced arranging for Henry to court Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Elizabeth, almost 37, was expected by many parties in her country to marry and produce an heir. However, nothing came of these discussions. In initiating them, Elizabeth is viewed by historians as having intended only to arouse the concern of Spain, rather than contemplate marriage seriously. This section does not cite any sources. 1573 led the siege of La Rochelle, a massive military assault on the Huguenot-held city. On 16 May 1573, Polish nobles chose Henry as the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.