Diane de France
Diane de France (1538 – 11 January 1619) was the natural (illegitimate) daughter of Henry II, King of France, and his Piedmontese mistress Filippa Duci. Sources, proven otherwise, claim that she was the daughter of Diane de Poitiers, due to the fact that Diane de Poitiers was already Henry II's mistress by the she brought up the little girl under her care.
Diane was born in Paris during 1538 and was formally legitimised in 1547. She was married in 1553 to Orazio Farnese, Duke of Castro, but was later widowed in the same year after Orazio was killed in battle. Diane's second marriage was to Francis de Montmorency in 1559, who was the eldest son of Anne, Constable of France. Diane was widowed for a second time in 1579, after helping her to make her husband a leader of the politiques, a moderate Roman Catholic group in France.
Diane became of favourite of Henry III, King of France, who made her Duchess of Angoulême in appanage (during her lifetime only) during 1582. Diane also enjoyed much respect at the court of Henry IV, King of France and superintended the education of his son Louis XIII, King of France.
Diane died on 11 January 1619 in Paris. Her surviving letters reveal her as a woman of great courage and tolerance.
- Considerations on "Les Amours de I. du Bellay" , Robert V. Merrill, Modern Philology, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Nov., 1935), 133.
- Henry II and the Papal Conclave of 1549, Frederic J. Baumgartner, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Autumn, 1985), 302.