Christine de Lorraine

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About Christine de Lorraine

Christina of Lorraine or Chretienne de Lorraine (16 August 1565 – 19 December 1637) was a French noble and by marriage Grand Duchess of Tuscany. She served as Regent of Tuscany jointly with her daughter-in-law during the minority of her grandson from 1621.

Born in Nancy, she was the daughter of Charles III of Lorraine and his wife Claude of Valois, and granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici.


In 1587 Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany died without a legitimate male heir; his brother Ferdinando immediately declared himself the third Grand Duke of Tuscany. Seeking a marriage that would preserve his political independence, Ferdinando chose his distant cousin, Christine of Lorraine, the favorite granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France. Catherine had influenced her towards this marriage, to re-align the Medici with France, not Spain.

The sumptuous and well-documented wedding festivities, celebrated in Florence in 1589, were designed to impress the royal houses of Europe. The wedding ceremony in Florence Cathedal was followed by outdoor events for the public, as well as banquets and balls, comedies and musical interludes, and a mock sea battle in the flooded courtyard of Palazzo Pitti for the aristocratic guests. Altogether the wedding spectacles cost approximately seven million dollars in today’s currency. These lavish and innovative forms of entertainment proved to be more than showmanship. They greatly influenced theatrical practices in European courts throughout the 17th century.

Galileo wrote his Letter to Grand Duchess Christina, expounding on the relationship between science and revelation, in 1615.

She died in Florence at the age of 72. Her son Cosimo II de' Medici succeeded his father as Grand Duke.

Cosimo II (12 March 1590 - 28 February 1621); married Maria Maddalena of Austria.

Eleonora (1591 - 1617)

Catherine (2 maggio 1593 - 17 aprile 1629); married Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

Francesco (1594 - 1614)

Carlo (1595 - 1666).

Filippino (9 aprile 1598 - 3 aprile 1602)

Lorenzo (1599 - 1648)

Maria Maddalena (1600 - 1633).

Claudia (1604 - 1648); married (1) Federico della Rovere and (2) Leopold V, Archduke of Austria.


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Christine de Lorraine's Timeline

August 16, 1565
Bar-le-Duc, Lorraine, France
May 12, 1590
Age 24
May 2, 1593
Age 27
March 19, 1595
Age 29
June 29, 1600
Age 34
June 4, 1604
Age 38
Florence, Italy
Age 39
Florence, Italy
December 19, 1637
Age 72
Florence, Tuscany, Italy