Date of Birth: 03/31/1519
Henry II French to accession to the throne
Born in 1519, Henry was the middle of three sons of King Francis I, thus, not an heir to the throne. Time, which determined the formation of his character, was about five years together with his elder brother in Spain as a hostage in order to make possible the return to France of his father who is in Imperial captivity after the battle of Pavia (1525) most of that time - to conclude and implement peace in Cambrai - the two royal son held in harsh, even humiliating conditions in many Castilian fortresses, as the Spaniards tried to make the impossible attempt to escape or release. Associated with this humiliation of captivity Henry I never forgot, and fed an irresistible hatred of Carlos V, like its initiator.
A few years after his return to France, Henry married Catherine de `Medici, Duke of Urbino daughter of Lorenzo de Medici and his wife Madeleine from an ancient French family of La Tour d & apos; in the Auvergne. Early left an orphan, Catherine was a relative of the Pope and the Trust; Marriage, therefore, became the focus of widely conceived Franco-papal plan of the alliance, which envisaged other than the church of concessions with respect to certain cardinal appointment and promotion Francis church tithes conquest of spheres of influence, formed in Milan, Parma, Pisa and Montferrier, where they were supposed to rule the young couple. The death of Clement VII a few months later, upset this plan and once again deprived of the support of Francis I in Italy. The political benefits of a marriage with Catherine was gone, and many of his contemporaries, even if it is not the wife, thought it now a mistake, especially when Henry after the sudden death of his brother, the Dauphin Francis, in 1536 moved into first place in the order of succession. By this time Henry has already begun communication with Diane de Poitiers. Until his death, the glory of the beauty of the widow of Louis de Breze, who was twenty years older than Henry, remained with him, affecting the thoughts and actions of the Dauphin and then the king. Catherine de Medici during all these years was in the background and does not show his outstanding political ability that made her a major figure in the kingdom during of successive boards her three sons. Perhaps the only constant readiness for the patronage of the Italian anti-Habsburg-minded fellow, who as "exiles" found refuge at the French court, made her close contact with the political issues. Since Diane de Poitiers was smart enough, she demanded that her lover to the extent possible respect for his wife. Highly educated, but physically unattractive Catherine earned if not love, then perhaps, benevolence and respect for Henry.
Little Dauphin tied with his father. Francis I, even when the life of the Dauphin Francis favors his youngest son Charles, like him for his mental warehouse. Ever since Henry became Dauphin, he began to express his own political views, deepened the gulf. This became particularly clear in relation to the peace treaty of Henry in crepe, in which France lost all acquisitions made from a certain point, in particular, Savoy (including Piedmont), won in 1536 was promised military aid against the Turks and one subject was given a secret French agreement on the convening of the general council to settle religious disputes. The treaty provided for the marriage the youngest son of Francis I with the representative of the House of Habsburg. Under the contract involves the rejection of traditional legal claims of the French crown at Milan, as well as the former claims to the Kingdom of Naples and the county of Asti, Flanders and Artois. Emperor as a reciprocal course refused Burgundy.
Dauphin in the presence of the witnesses stated that he was against the peace treaty, thus showing the desire to preserve the integrity of the monarchy. The death of Charles of Orleans in 1545 prevented the fulfillment of the contract, however, and later Henry kept a distance with respect to his father and his politics. First of all, he did not break contact with the German Protestants and the political calculation has caused them some hope for the introduction of Protestantism in France at the moment when Francis I began the persecution of their French co-religionists intense than ever before.
Source: French kings and emperors, ed. Peter K. Hartmann; "Phoenix", Rostov-on-Don, 1997.