Charles III, Duke of Lorraine

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Charles III
Duke of Lorraine
Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, by studio of Francois Clouet.jpg
Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, studio of François Clouet, oil on panel
Born18 February 1543
Ducal Palace of Nancy
Died14 May 1608(1608-05-14) (aged 65)
Spouse Claude of France
Issue Henry II, Duke of Lorraine
Christina, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine
Antoinette, Duchess of Jülich-Cleves-Berg
Francis II, Duke of Lorraine
Catherine, Abbess of Remiremont
Elisabeth, Electress of Bavaria
House Lorraine
Father Francis I, Duke of Lorraine
Mother Christina of Denmark
Religion Roman Catholicism

Charles III (18 February 1543 – 14 May 1608), known as the Great, was Duke of Lorraine from 1545 until his death.

Contents

He is the direct male ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria.

Austrian Empire monarchy in Central Europe between 1804 and 1867

The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.

Life

He was the eldest surviving son of Francis I, Duke of Lorraine and Christina of Denmark. [1]

Francis I was Duke of Lorraine from 1544–1545.

Christina of Denmark Duchess consort of Milan and Upper Lorraine

Christina of Denmark was a Danish princess, the younger surviving daughter of King Christian II of Denmark and Norway and Isabella of Austria. She became the duchess-consort of Milan, then duchess-consort of Lorraine. She served as the regent of Lorraine from 1545 to 1552 during the minority of her son. She was also a claimant to the thrones of Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 1561-1590. Finally, she was sovereign Lady of Tortona in 1578-1584.

In 1545, his father died, and his mother served as the regent during his minority. During his childhood, his aged great-grandmother, Philippa of Gelderland, died in 1547, leaving also her inheritance to the young Charles. His dynasty claimed the Kingdom of Jerusalem and used also the title of Duke of Calabria as symbol of their claims to the Kingdom of Naples. Additionally, they had a claim to the Duchy of Gelderland, inherited from Charles of Egmont, Duke of Gelderland.

Kingdom of Jerusalem medieval Christian kingdom in the Middle East

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a crusader state established in the Southern Levant by Godfrey of Bouillon in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks. Its history is divided into two distinct periods. The sometimes so-called First Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted from 1099 to 1187, when it was almost entirely overrun by Saladin. After the subsequent Third Crusade, the kingdom was re-established in Acre in 1192, and lasted until that city's destruction in 1291, except for a brief two decades in which Frederick II of Hohenstaufen reclaimed Jerusalem back into Christian hands after the Sixth Crusade. This second kingdom is sometimes called the Second Kingdom of Jerusalem or the Kingdom of Acre, after its new capital. Most of the crusaders who settled there were of French origin.

Duke of Calabria was the traditional title of the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Naples after the accession of Robert of Naples. It was also adopted by the heads of certain Houses that had once claimed the Kingdom of Naples in lieu of the royal title.

Kingdom of Naples former state in Italy

The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

In 1552, Lorraine was invaded by France, his mother's regency was terminated and Charles was removed from Lorraine to France, to be raised at the French royal court in accordance to the needs of French interests. [2] In 1559, he was married to Claude of France, and allowed to depart to Lorraine and take control of his domain.

Claude of France Duchess of Brittany; queen consort of France

Claude of France was a queen consort of France by marriage to Francis I. She was also ruling Duchess of Brittany from 1514. She was a daughter of the French king Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.

The reign of Charles III is regarded as a great age of peace and prosperity for Lorraine. He pursued a policy of strict neutrality between France and The Holy German Empire, as well as during the French Wars of Religion. He founded the University of Pount-a-Mousson. He also expanded his realm by the incorporation of Pfalzburg from George John I, Count Palatine of Veldenz in 1590, and tried to conquer also Lützelstein, though George John I's widow, Anna of Sweden, managed to negotiate a truce.

George John I, Count Palatine of Veldenz German noble

George John I was the Duke of Veldenz from 1544 until 1592.

In 1589, he broke his policy of neutrality and allied himself with the French Catholic League because he, as a Catholic, could not accept Henry of Navarre as king of France. In his peace with Henry in 1594, he married his son to Henry's sister Catherine de Bourbon.

Family

He married Claude of Valois, princess of France, daughter of king Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. [3] They had the following children:

Ancestors

Charles III's ancestors in three generations
Charles III, Duke of LorraineFather:
Francis I, Duke of Lorraine
Paternal Grandfather:
Antoine, Duke of Lorraine
Paternal Great-grandfather:
René II, Duke of Lorraine
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Philippa of Guelders
Paternal Grandmother:
Renée of Bourbon-Montpensier
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Gilbert, Count of Montpensier
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Chiara Gonzaga
Mother:
Christina of Denmark
Maternal Grandfather:
Christian II of Denmark
Maternal Great-grandfather:
John of Denmark
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Christina of Saxony
Maternal Grandmother:
Isabella of Austria
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Philip I of Castile
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Joanna of Castile

See also

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References

Sources

Preceded by
Francis I
Duke of Lorraine and Bar
Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson

1545-1608
Succeeded by
Henry II