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20 July 1524 – Queen Claude of France dies

Posted By on July 20, 2015

Francis I and Queen Claude

On 20th July 1524, Queen Claude of France, wife of Francis I, died at Blois at the age of just twenty-four. She was temporarily laid to rest in the chapel there, but then moved to the royal abbey of Saint-Denis just outside Paris in 1527.

At Easter, Tim and I visited Saint-Denis and I was able to pay my respects to Queen Claude, and also Francis I and many other French monarch, at the Basilica of Saint-Denis. Tim took these photos of their tomb (see above and below).

Click here to read more about Queen Claude, the queen Anne Boleyn served from 1515 to 1521.

Tudor Society members can view my video on the royal tombs at Saint-Denis over on the Tudor Society website – click here.

6 thoughts on “20 July 1524 – Queen Claude of France dies”

  1. Janine Bignell says:

    Just letting you know that I absolutely love your website and use it regularly but above, a typographical error has been made which states that Queen Claude died in 1554. Queen Claude died on the 20th July 1524. Just letting you know so the error can be corrected.

    Thank you as always for your wonderful articles. xoxox

    1. Claire says:

      Wonderful, thank you, I got it right in the title but was also writing about an event in 1554 today so my mind was in a spin. Thanks, I’ll edit that now.

  2. Christine says:

    She died young then, I wonder what her life was like married to that rake Francis 1st, and she was a cripple to I read, yet she appears to have been a good wife and Queen Consort I wonder what she died of, maybe she caught syphilis of her husband, how awful

  3. BanditQueen says:

    Queen Claude was a beautiful and clever woman, sophisticated and a devoted mother, queen and wife; what a shame that she died so young. I believe that she lived a very full life, but what promise could she have had if she was with Francis for many years yet. Although Francis was a serial adulterer, Claude remained true and loyal and he always stated that he loved her and he still came back to her every night. He must have keenly felt her absence. Her court was renowned by all of Europe as the most advanced and educated of the age. I love her memorial as pictured above.

    1. Christine says:

      The tombs are very lavish, I like the one of Louis and Marie Antoinette, what a lovely building it is , I will have to try to visit it one day.

  4. bruno says:

    I too find these tombs great.
    If what I see is far from repellent (ie the naked body of a rather attractive woman, that happens to have be a queen), in real life, Claude of Valois, with all her holy virtues was not famed for her looks.
    We get Brantôme, speaking of her as being ugly (but he never knew the queen, being born long after her death and, which is more, his chauvinistic male anecdotes are more than dubious).
    We can take for sure reports of ambassadors, depicting the french queen as being short in stature and heavy, so she was a stout little woman (always pregnant).
    She squinted and she took her nose and – I’m afraid according to her official portraits – her features after her father king of France Louis XII (himself son of two ugly persons, Charles of Valois, duke of Orléans and his third wife, Marie of Cleves).
    Exactly like her only sister Renée of Valois, future duchess of Ferrarra, whose looks disappointed so much her fiancé (son of Lucrezia Borgia, he might have been accustomed to more lovely women).
    Not the same charm as their mother Anne, heiress of the duchy of Britanny but what both took after her was her vast learning – they were prepared to become sovereingns in their own rights, and “Renaissance” allowed a lot of teachers and artists to play the same role as antique preceptors to princes and (at the time) princesses.
    But, if Renée was to grow an intellectual and independent woman of her time, this was not the case for poor Claude, whose betrothal when still a baby to François of Valois (as an orphan of his father, duke of Angoulême) didn’t help.
    This was by no means a “rake” – but, having been raised by an exclusive mother but also, later, by a loving elder sister (ie Marguerite of Valois, future duchess of Alençon and then queen of Navarra by a second wedding), he was about as vain as “our” K H .
    The very difference, linked with his relations to ladies, is that in France nobility was steeped in “l’amour courtois” and especially François who wouldn’t have admitted any lack of respect to a lady (fear of his terrible mother who, as a widow of twenty was rather praised for her male qualities than for her tenderness, even if she called her only son “my Caesar”- reports, again, but also some of her letters; a very surprising one is this written at the birth of a stillborn child to queen Anne, which shows how sure she was that her son was to be king at last – why not?).
    In fact, even if he was gallant, we know only two royal mistresses.
    The first Françoise de Foix (married to the count of Laval-Châteaubriant) was loyal and candid, the second, Anne, countess of Etampes, rather greedy instead.
    Both these women were litterate – only Anne of Etampes, interested in politics but, then, to a level noticed by ambassadors.
    His second mistress he took when returning from his captivity in spanish gaols.
    By then he had become widowed from his first wife (Claude) and it was two years before he had to “pay the price” for having been freed – by marrying Eleanor sister of Charles V.
    Another not very pretty woman (with the Habsburg’s heavy chin)

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