Valentina Visconti, Duchess of Orléans

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Valentina Visconti, Duchess of Orléans
Fleury-François Richard - Valentine of Milan Mourning her Husband, the Duke of Orléans.JPG
Valentine of Milan weeping for the death of her husband Louis of Orléans by Fleury-François Richard (c. 1802) Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Spouse(s) Louis de Valois, Duke of Orléans
Noble family House of Visconti
Father Giangaleazzo Visconti
Mother Isabelle of Valois
Born 1368
Died 4 December 1408(1408-12-04)

Valentina Visconti (1368 – died 4 December 1408) was a sovereign Countess of Vertus, and a duchess consort of Orléans as the wife of Louis de Valois, Duke of Orléans, the younger brother of Charles VI of France.[1]


She was born in Milan and was the daughter of Giangaleazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan, and his first wife, Isabelle of Valois, a daughter of John the Good. After her mother, she was the sovereign Countess of Vertus from 1372, a title she shared with her spouse.

She married her first cousin, Louis de Valois, duc d'Orléans, in September 1389 by papal dispensation. Her marriage contract stipulated that in failure of male heirs, she would inherit the Visconti dominions. It was because of this, that her grandson Louis XII of France claimed the Duchy of Milan and embarked on the Italian Wars.

Because of intrigues at the court of Charles VI of France and the enmity of the Queen, Isabeau of Bavaria-Ingolstadt, Valentina was exiled from the court and had to leave Paris. There were rumours that Isabeau was having an affair with Louis and that Valentina was very close to the King, who was in poor mental health.

A patroness of Eustache Deschamps, who wrote poetry in her honour, she was also the mother of one of France's most famous poets, Charles of Orléans.

Louis de Valois was murdered by his cousin and political rival John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy in 1407. Valentina outlived her husband by only a little over a year, dying at Blois at the age of 40.

Her children were:

Among her later descendants was King Henry IV of France (1553–1610), founder of the House of Bourbon.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Emerton, Ephraim (1917). The Beginnings of Modern Europe (1250-1450). Boston: Ginn & Co. p. 406. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  2. ^ Williams, George L. (2004). Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 156. ISBN 0-7864-2071-5. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
Valentina Visconti, Duchess of Orléans
Born: 1368 Died: 4 December 1408
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Countess of Vertus
with Louis
Succeeded by