Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who played a key role in the political affairs of France during the rule of her sons, a period which came to be known as the age of Catherine de' Medici. Catherine is credited with saving the monarchy from deposition during the French Wars of Religion.
Isabella of France, also known as the She-Wolf of France, was the Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II. She was known for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. Her marriage was a troubled one and she probably had an affair with Roger Mortimer. It is believed that Isabella then arranged the murder of Edward II.
The eldest daughter of French king Henry II, Elisabeth of Valois later became the queen consort of Spain by her marriage to Philip II of Spain. Known for her tall stature and grace, she died in childbirth at the tender age of 23 and was mourned in Spain.
Joan I of Navarre was the queen of Navarre from 1274 until her death in 1305, at the age of 32. She also became the queen consort of France in 1285 as she had married Philip IV of France who became King Philip IV on 5 October 1285. Joan is credited with founding the College of Navarre in 1305.
Daughter of Henry IV of France, Henrietta Maria, or Queen Mary, ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland as the queen after marrying King Charles I. Her open allegiance to Roman Catholicism prevented her from getting a formal coronation. She died of an overdose of laudanum to cure her of bronchitis.
French princess Claude of France, who was the daughter of King Henry II of France, later became the duchess consort of Lorraine by her marriage to Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. She is known to have suffered from a club foot and a hunchback, traits she inherited from her mother, Catherine de' Medici.
Spanish princess Anne of Austria was also an archduchess of the House of Habsburg. She later became the queen of France, as King Louis XIII’s wife, and also ruled as the regent for her son, Louis XIV. She is one of main characters in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
German princess Elizabeth Charlotte, also known as Madame Palatine, became the duchess of Orléans as the second wife of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. Interestingly, she converted from Protestantism to Catholicism just to get married to Philippe I. An ancestress of several royal families, she was also known as the Grandmother of Europe.
The wife of French king Louis Philippe I, Marie-Amélie de Bourbon was the last queen of France. Least interested in politics, she spent most of her life raising her 8 children. She also shunned public life for fear of a new revolution after Louis Philippe became the king following the July Revolution.