|Spouse(s)||Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua|
|Father||William IX of Montferrat|
|Mother||Anne of Alençon|
11 August 1510|
|Died||28 December 1566
Margaret Palaeologa (Italian: Margherita Paleologo; 11 August 1510 in Casale Monferrato – 28 December 1566 in Mantua), was an Italian ruler; Marchioness of Montferrat in her own right. She also married into the Gonzaga family, rulers of Mantua, making her Duchess of Mantua by her marriage to Federico II, Duke of Mantua. Margaret was the regent of Mantua as the guardian of her two sons from 1540 until 1556 in companionship with her brother-in-law.
Margaret was born in Casale to William IX of Montferrat and his wife Anne of Alençon. Her mother was the third child of René, Duke of Alençon and his second wife Margaret of Lorraine, daughter of Frederick, Count of Vaudémont and Yolande of Anjou. Margaret's maternal grandfather died two days after the birth of Anne.
Margaret's paternal grandfather was Bonifacio III of Montferrat.
In 1517, Margaret's elder sister, Maria, was betrothed to Federico II Gonzaga, son of Francesco II Gonzaga and Isabella d'Este, who later became Marquis and Duke of Mantua. The marriage contract was annulled, however, after Federico accused Maria of attempting to poison his mistress Isabella Boschetti, wife of the Count of Calvisano.
The death of their father rekindled Federico's interest in marrying Maria. But Maria died unexpectedly in September 1530. Federico's attentions turned to Margaret. Having weighed up the various proposals for Margaret's hand, Anne opted for the link with the House of Gonzaga and the marriage was concluded in October 1531.
On the death of her brother, Margaret became Marchioness of Montferrat in her own right, though it later merged with the Gonzaga inheritance.
The marriage lasted for nine years until Federico's death, at the age of 40. The couple's last child was born the year of his death. In total, Margaret and Federico had seven children:
- Eleonora Gonzaga.
- Anna Gonzaga.
- Francesco III Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (March 10, 1533 - February 22, 1550).
- Isabella Gonzaga. Married Francesco Ferdinando d'Ávalos.
- Guglielmo I of Gonzaga (April 24, 1538 - August 14, 1587). Married Archduchess Eleanor of Austria
- Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers (October 22, 1539 - October 23, 1595). Married Henriette of Cleves, by whom he had issue, including Charles I, Duke of Mantua.
- Federico, Cardinal Gonzaga (1540 - February 21, 1565).
On Federico's death, their eldest son, Francesco became Duke of Mantua. As Francesco was still only a minor aged eight, Margaret acted as his regent. Margaret had her son married to Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. Margaret had her second son, Guglielmo married to Catherine's younger sister, Eleanor.
Francesco died one year after his marriage to Catherine in 1550, no children were born to their union.
Guglielmo then became Duke of Mantua. Margaret acted as his regent, with the help of her brother-in-law Ercole Gonzaga.
Margaret lived to see three grandchildren, those of Guglielmo and Eleanor. After Margaret's death, five more grandchildren were born including Charles I, Duke of Mantua.
Margaret died in Mantua on 28 December 1566.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
|Ancestors of Margaret Paleologa|
- Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012,[better source needed]
- Translation from Italian Wikipedia, with further references
Margaret PaleologaBorn: 11 August 1510 Died: 28 December 1566
|Marchioness of Montferrat
Francesco III Gonzaga