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Profile of the Day: Henry III of France

On this day in 1589, Henry III of France died at the hands of a religious fanatic.

Image: Henry III of France / Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons

Henry III was born on September 19, 1551 at the royal Château de Fontainebleau. The fourth son of King Henry II and Catherine de Medici, Henry was never expected to become the King of France. He ruled as the King of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth before inheriting the French throne following the death of his brother, Charles IX, in 1574.

His rule had been plagued by the French Wars of Religion, which was primarily fought between Roman Catholics and Huguenots. In 1589, Henry III was murdered by Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic. Clément had disguised himself as a priest and was admitted to the king’s presence under the pretense that he had a confidential message to deliver. When Henry III died on August 2, 1589, he would be the last French monarch of the House of Valois. He was succeeded by Henry III of Navarre, the first monarch of the House of Bourbon.

How are you related to Henry III of France? Explore his family tree and share your connection to the French monarch.

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