Renata of Lorraine
|Renata of Lorraine|
|Duchess of Bavaria|
Portrait by Johann Sadeler, ca. 1588-1595.
|Spouse||William V, Duke of Bavaria|
|Father||Francis I, Duke of Lorraine|
|Mother||Christina of Denmark|
20 April 1544|
|Died||22 May 1602
Born in Nancy, France, she was the second child and eldest daughter of Francis I, Duke of Lorraine and Christina of Denmark. Her paternal grandparents were Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and Renée of Bourbon-Montpensier and her maternal grandparents were Christian II of Denmark and Isabella of Austria.
In the early 1560s, king Eric XIV of Sweden (1533–77, reigned 1560–68), a Lutheran, hoped to marry her and sent a deputation to propose her. Eric had several unsuccessful royal marriage plans at different times, but ultimately married his low-born mistress Karin Månsdotter. As to Renata, Eric's desire was mostly based on her being the granddaughter of king Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and thus one of heirs of that deposed monarch.
On 22 February 1568, Renata married with William, Hereditary Prince of Bavaria in a large ceremony in Munich, which was described in detail by Massimo Troiano in his Dialoghi (1569). The festival lasted 18 days, it took about 5,000 riders part in it, and the festival music was the occasion by Orlande de Lassus to compose.
Despite her status, Renata -along with her husband- had a life of charity and humility. They left the Munich Residenz and lived in the Jesuit Kollegienbau at the west of Munich. Renata took care of sick, poor and pilgrims. In this task, she was completely supported by her husband. After her William became reigning Duke in 1579, Renata spent much of her time in the Herzogspitalkirche, founded in 1555 by her father-in-law.
Renata died in Munich, aged 58. Her grave is located in the St. Michael's Church, whose consecration was the last high point in both she and her husband's lives. She was revered as a saint by the people, but never canonized. Her husband (who abdicated in 1597) survived her twenty-four years, dying in 1626.
Among her direct descendants was Josephine of Leuchtenberg, who married one of Eric XIV's successors, the future king Oscar I of Sweden and Norway in 1823. Renata's descent ascended the Swedish and Norwegian thrones in 1859 in person of Charles XV of Sweden and Norway and the Danish throne in person of Christian X of Denmark in 1912. All current monarchs of the three Scandinavian countries are Renata's direct blood descendants. Among her other numerous notable descendants are Franz Josef of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico.
- Christoph (born and died 23 January 1570).
- Christine (23 September 1571 – 27 April 1580).
- Maximilian I (17 April 1573 – 22 September 1651), future Duke and Elector of Bavaria.
- Maria Anna (8 December 1574 – 8 March 1616), married on 23 April 1600 to Ferdinand, Archduke of Inner Austria and future Holy Roman Emperor.
- Philipp Wilhelm (22 September 1576 – 18 May 1598), Bishop of Regensburg from 1595, Cardinal from 1597.
- Ferdinand (6 October 1577 – 13 September 1650), Archbishop and prince-elector of Cologne (1612–1650).
- Eleonore Magdalene (7 October 1578 – 18 April 1579).
- Karl (30 May 1580 – 27 October 1587).
- Albert VI (13 May 1584 – 5 July 1666), Landgrave of Leuchtenberg by marriage.
- Magdalene (4 July 1587 – 25 September 1628), married on 11 November 1613 married Wolfgang Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg.
- Anna de Crignis-Mentelberg: Herzogin Renata. Die Mutter Maximilians des Großen von Bayern. Freiburg im Breisgau 1912.
- Helmut Dotterweich: Der junge Maximilian. Jugend und Erziehung des bayerischen Herzogs und späteren Kurfürsten Maximilian I. von 1573 bis 1593. München 1962.
- Andrea Rueth: Renata von Lothringen, Herzogin von Bayern. In: Wurst, Jürgen und Langheiter, Alexander (Hrsg.): Monachia. München: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, 2005. p. 142.
|Ancestors of Renata of Lorraine|
Renata of LorraineBorn: 20 April 1544 Died: 22 May 1602
Anna of Austria
|Duchess of Bavaria
Elisabeth of Lorraine