13.03.

1372: French Duke who almost Became King of Hungary-Croatia Two Times

1372: French Duke who almost Became King of Hungary-Croatia Two Times
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Louis_Ier_d'Orléans.jpg

The wealthy Duke Louis of Orleans was engaged to Catherine of Anjou, the heiress to the Hungarian-Croatian kingdom.

 Duke Louis of Orleans, a powerful member of the French royal dynasty, was born on this day in 1372. He was the younger brother of French king Charles VI, who almost lost his throne to the British during the Hundred Years’ War. Louis of Orleans held the title of Duke of Orleans, which was commonly given to the younger brothers of French kings (a similar practice exists in the UK with the Duke of York).

Louis of Orleans held many lands in France: Valois, Touraine, Orléans, Blois, Angoulême, Périgord, and Soissons. He was engaged to the heiress of the Hungarian-Croatian kingdom, Catherine of Anjou. She was the daughter of the Croatian-Hungarian king Louis of Anjou, one of the wealthiest rulers of the European Middle Ages. Since women generally weren’t allowed to become ruling queens in Hungary, Louis of Orleans was supposed to become the Hungarian-Croatian king through this marriage. Louis of Anjou actually wanted him to also inherit Poland, which was also under his rule.

Catherine was engaged to the Duke of Orleans when she was only four years old. However, she died at the age of seven. Her mother, Elizabeth of Bosnia, then tried to marry her younger daughter Mary to the same man. Their marriage was arranged through intermediaries, but Mary’s fiancé Sigismund of Luxembourg refused to approve of the marriage. He personally entered Hungary and married Mary, thus depriving Duke Louis of the Hungarian-Croatian crown a second time.

Louis had an important political role in France during the time of the Hundred Years’ War. He died at the age of 35 in a very brutal manner, when his distant cousin, John the Fearless, organized an assassination in the streets of Paris.

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