Henry II, Duke of Lorraine

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Henry II "the Good"
Duke of Lorraine
Henri II Lorraine.jpg
Born8 November 1563
Ducal Palace of Nancy, Lorraine
Died31 July 1624(1624-07-31) (aged 60)
Ducal Palace of Nancy, Lorraine
SpouseCatherine de Bourbon
Margherita Gonzaga
IssueNicole, Duchess of Lorraine
Claude, Duchess of Lorraine
Full name
FatherCharles III, Duke of Lorraine
MotherClaude of France
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Henry II (French: Henri II; 8 November 1563 – 31 July 1624), known as "the Good (le Bon)", was Duke of Lorraine from 1608 until his death. Leaving no sons, both of his daughters became Duchesses of Lorraine by marriage. He was a brother-in-law of Henry IV of France.

History and Family[edit]

He was the son of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, and Claude of Valois, daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici. His paternal grandparents were Francis I, Duke of Lorraine, and Christina of Denmark.

He married, firstly, Catherine de Bourbon, Duchess of Albret, sister of Henry IV of France and heir presumptive to the crown of Navarre. The couple were married at the Château de Saint Germain-en-Laye outside Paris on 31 January 1599. The bride was already 39 years of age and the union was merely to secure relations with the House of Bourbon which had previously been rivals with the House of Lorraine. As Catherine was a Protestant and Henry was a devout Catholic, a papal dispensation was required for the two to marry. The pope refused to grant it but Catherine's brother convinced his illegitimate half-brother, Charles, Archbishop of Rouen, to officiate the wedding.

Catherine died childless in 1604, aged 45. With no issue from that union, Duke Henri married, secondly, Margherita Gonzaga on 24 April 1606 in Mantua. She was a daughter of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and his wife Eleonora de' Medici (a sister of Marie de' Medici, Henry IV's wife). Margherita's sister Eleonor Gonzaga was a future Holy Roman Empress.

Henri was succeeded by his younger brother as Francis II, Duke of Lorraine.



Titles and styles[edit]

  • 8 November 1563 – 14 May 1608 The Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
  • 14 May 1608 – 31 July 1624 His Highness The Duke of Lorraine

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Charles III
Duke of Lorraine and Bar
and Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson

Succeeded by
Nicole and Francis II
Preceded by
Marquis of Nomeny