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Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins
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OKAY, LOVELIES, yesterday I could not rally to do a #SexyHistory because I had to get a crown put on (on my tooth, not my head, ALAS), but TODAY IS THE DAY, LET'S DO THIS.
Today we'll be talking about Margaret of Valois, French princess/queen, and one Seriously Put Upon Lady. LIFE WAS HARD FOR 16th CENTURY MARGARETS, Y'ALL.
Margaret is fairly well-known as "Queen Margot," because that's the book that was written about her, plus there's the movie which is full of so many beautiful French people, it's like staring at the sun.
Sorry, like staring at LE SOLEIL. (Also, I enjoy that one of the review blurbs is just, "AROUSING." That is too much information, Entertainment Weekly, but also how I will blurb all books from now on.)
ANY! WAY! We're gonna call her Margot because we just covered a Margaret, and also Margot is a rad name that I won't f*** up typing 8,000 times.
So Margot is born in 1553 to King Henry II of France and his wife, Catherine de Medici. They're part of the royal house of Valois, "Valois" being French for "Hot Messes."
Seriously, where is this family's sumptuous 10 part miniseries??? Margot has a bunch of brothers, so we already know this is gonna be a problem because *gestures at men*
But Margot's REAL issue is her mom, Catherine de Medici who is HARDCORE, and also dealing with just, like, a metric f***ton of sh*t all the time.
Margot's dad, Henri II, dies after he gets literally stabbed in the eye during a joust, YIIIIIIIKES. And the stabbos-ing isn't even what does it, it's the septicemia afterwards. EYE ROT PEOPLE.
But, like, hey, no big, no big, Margot's got BROTHERS, remember? So many wangs to place upon that throne, and god, that's a bad image, I'm so sorry.
So Margot's brother, Francis, becomes king. You may know him from Reign where he was played by a Playskool Jesus Figurine come to life.
(Was that mean? Maybe that was mean, idk, I just know that I watched Reign, and it kept trying to get me to think that dude was sexy, and I was like, "This is the CW, where are all the half-naked Australian guys you people always have, why aren't they on this show?)
MOVING ON! Francis is married to My Forever Bae, Mary Queen of Scots, but as we've discussed before, he got an ear infection and died because sometimes it be like that in the 1500s.
So Margot's OTHER brother, Charles, now places HIS wang upon the throne, and OH MY GOD, I NEED TO STOP THIS.
Now, as is always the case in the 1500s and also throughout all of time forever, there were Religious Issues, in this case, between the Catholics and the Huguenots, French Protestants.
We're not going to get deeply into that, because this is not #ChurchyHistory, gdi, it is #SexyHistory, and also it's complicated and Not What I Am Here For.
BUT KNOW THAT THINGS WERE TENSE. Which is why Charles is like, "Whaaaaaaat if my sister Margot married Henri of Navarre who is a Huguenot and also a F*ckboi?"
Margot does NOT WANT TO DO THIS.
ELLE NE VEUT PAS LE FAIRE. Because she already loves another dude, Henry of Guise (THERE ARE SO MANY HENRYS, Y'ALL.)
ALLEGEDLY, when Margot's affair with Henry of Guise was discovered, Catherine (her mom) had her dragged out of bed, and then Catherine and Charles beat her.
Like, CAN YOU IMAGINE? There you are, just TRYING to get your swerve on with a handsome nobleman, and your mom and your brother team up to hit you??
It was like this, only substitute "Henry of Guise" for "wire hangers" and also her brother was there which makes it weirder, lbr.
So Margot is married off to Henri of Navarre since there's nothing royal families love more than forced marriages between unwilling teenagers.
HOWEVER! Catherine de Medici is a MULTI-TASKER, and is like, "Okay, so you know how all Henri's Huguenot friends are coming into town for the wedding? What if they ALSO came to town...TO GET MURDERED?"
It's a solid plan, really, wiping out a lot of political enemies when they're all in one place. Like the Red Wedding, and also any brunch on any Real Housewives franchise.
So just a few days after Margot marries Henri, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre occurs. Lots of Huguenots wiped out in Paris, more violence against them in the rest of the country, WORST WEDDING PRESENT EVER.
And after this, for some reason, Catherine is all, "Hey, Margot, maybe want to annul your marriage to Henri now?" and Margot is all, "Can't, already took the D-Train to Wifetown if you feel me."
Catherine and Margot's relationship is now suuuuuuper strained which is no big surprise, what with Catherine planning A Giant F***ing Murder Show as Margot's reception.
NOW! Henri and Margot are married, and obviously she chose Team Henri post massacre, but the marriage is...not great. Henri is, as mentioned, a bit of a f*ckboi.
He has a lots of mistresses, but Margot kind of gets hers, too, and they're sort of muddling along as Unwilling Teenagers Forced Into Arranged Marriages do.
(Were I to write this miniseries, they'd totally fall in love because Enemies to Lovers In Arranged Royal Marriages is my forever jam, but no one lets me write history yet, MORE'S THE PITY.)
Meanwhile, we got a REAL TANGLE O'WANGS happening back in the French Court. LE TANGLE DU WANGS.
Margot's brother, Charles, is a sh*tty king (THOUGH NOT A BABBY AT LEAST.) So some guys are like, "Let's replace him with his brother, Henry!" (I KNOW ANOTHER F***ING HENRY.)
And then OTHER guys are like, "No, NOT Henry, there are too many of them and that's confusing, what about his OTHER brother, Francis? No, not the dead Playskool Jesus one, the OTHER one?"
It's all very confusing and political, and NO ONE HAS HAD ENOUGH COFFEE FOR THAT, but important thing is that Charles dies and Margot's brother Henry DOES become king.
And he is RIPSH*T at Margot and her husband, Henri (using that spelling because oh my god, the Henrys) because they were involved in all the, "Maybe Francis not you?" thing.
So once again, Margot had chosen to be Team Henri, but she and Henri are still not doing GREAT on the marriage front and don't have any kids.
Aaaaand they're both Getting Theirs with lots of other people which is usually not, like, the BEST strategy for fixing a marriage, but I don't know their love languages, so whatever, kids, do you.
Things get even MORE awkward when Henri has an affair with Charlotte de Sauve, who was part of what was called Catherine de Medici's "Flying Squadron."
The "Flying Squadron" were a group of ladies Catherine used as spies to seduce powerful men at court and bring info back to Catherine. I KNOW RIGHT????
Soooooo, yeah, Catherine sics Charlotte on Margot's HUSBAND. And you were mad because your mom said a kind of catty thing about your lipstick color that one time, I swear.
Catherine de Medici, 1575-
And because this isn't F***ED UP ENOUGH, Catherine is ALSO like, "Charlotte, Charlie, my bud, my pal. Know how you're banging my son-in-law? Could you ALSO bang my youngest son, Not Playskool Jesus Francis?"
I KNOW. SOME MORE. So Charlotte does, and then Francis and Henri get all dumb about it because BOYS, and Margot, who was TRYING TO BROKEN PEACE BETWEEN THEM, is like, "I cannot believe this sh*t."
Margot, 1575.
So now Margot's just dealing with wangs, both figurative and literal, on all sides. Her brother and her husband are scratching each other's eyes out over some lady. Her OTHER brother is king and really hates her.
You'll note I'm not giving anyone a Sexy Fancast in this thread, and it's because they honestly don't deserve it. SORRY, HENRI OF NAVARRE. YOU COULD'VE BEEN RYAN GOSLING OR SOME SH*T, BUT YA BLEW IT.
Okay, so now things once again get super complicated politically. You've got Henry III, Margot's brother as king. You've got her other brother, Francis, as a possible replacement. AND you've got her husband, Henri of Navarre running around and switching religions as needed.
Margot stays at Henry's court for awhile, gets kicked out, goes back to Navarre/Henri. Both she and Henri end up imprisoned at various times, and both of them continue to sample ALL THE STRANGE.
Which makes her QUITE THE SCANDALOUS FIGURE because omg, ladies Getting Theirs, NOOOO VAGINAS ARE SCAAAARY!!
HOWEVER! EVENTUALLY! The Wang Forest is pruned, and Margot's brothers die, leaving no direct heirs, so now it's Henri of Navarre's time to shine, shine, shine!
With no direct heirs and everyone agreeing that the House of Valois was entertaining for the past 5 seasons, but really went off the rails in Season 6, Henri of Navarre becomes Henri IV, King of France. (STILL NOT GETTING A SEXY FANCAST.)
Aaaand now he's like, "Riiiiiiight, so we've never had kids, I think maybe we should just call it a day on this whole Marriage Thing," and Margot is all:
So they go about the process of getting an annulment, pointing to their Lack of Womb Fruit (I AM SORRY AGAIN), and also, like, maybe god is mad at them, WHO KNOWS?
HOWEVER, when Henri is all, "Coolcoolcool, so here's the deal, when we're done with all this, Imma marry my mistress, Gabrielle," and THEN Margot is like, "I think the f*** not."
Because my girl Margot is not here to be replaced by some low-rent B, and honestly, RESPECT.
But Gabrielle dies, so Margot wins that round, and the annulment goes through. Henri married Marie de Medici, and then this AMAZING THING HAPPENS where Margot and Marie become besties.
Pictured, Margot of Valois and Marie de Medici, 1600-
She becomes a pretty popular figure at the French court, reconciled with Henri now that they're Friendly Exes, and BFFs with the queen.
Like, seriously, she and Marie team up against some of Henri's mistresses, Margot has her girl's back ALL THE TIME, it's just the best.
And then in 1610, Henri is assassinated, OOPS, leaving France wiiiiiiiiitttttttthhhhhhhhhhhh.....
Marie is made regent for her young son, Louis XIII, and Margot backs her RIGHT the f*** up, and finally, after LE TANGLE DU WANGS, A SEA OF WANGS, A NEVER ENDING CORN MAZE WHERE THE CORN IS ACTUALLY WANGS, Ladies Are On Top.
Sadly, Margot does not get to enjoy this Gloriously Wang-Free Existence for long. She becomes very ill in 1615, and dies at the age of 61. Pour out THE VERY FINEST French champagne for this lady!
Because WHOO BOY is history gonna be a D*CK to her. There's gonna be a lot of, "She was a slutty slut-slut who slutted it up sluttily," because of course there is.

OF COURSE.
But she was smart and navigated her way through a real mess of political, religious, and personal entanglements, and she outlived ALL THOSE DUDES, so HA.
SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED TODAY?
- Royal dads and husbands are rough, but god, Royal Brothers really suck the bag.
- Yes, maybe your uncle got drunk at your wedding reception, but was the word "massacre" employed to describe it? No? THEN YOU'RE GOOD.
- And lastly and obviously most importantly, The CW has an entire warehouse of very hot men, but oddly used none of them for Reign, was there a conspiracy, no, really, what was going in there, is there someone I can write to?

- ET FIN.
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