Queen Claude

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Queen Claude of France as played by Gabriella Wright

Born 13 October 1499 – died 20 July 1524

Character's backstory: The eldest daughter of King Louis XII of France & Anne of Brittany. Her father was the great-grandson of Charles V of France (1338-1380). Louis' predecessor Charles VIII of France had no male heirs and according to the French interpretation of the Salic Law permitted claims to the French throne were only by male agnatic descendants of French kings. This made Louis, the great-grandson of King Charles V, the most senior claimant as heir of Charles VIII. Louis thus succeeded to the throne on the king's death. King Louis was the sole monarch from the Valois-Orléans branch of the House of Valois. Because her mother, Anne, Duchess of Brittany, had no surviving sons by her first marriage to King Charles VIII of France (King Louis' predecessor), Claude became heiress to the Duchy of Brittany. The crown of France, however, could pass only to and through male heirs and she was thus passed over for the next male heir, her husband and second cousin, Francis, Count of Angoulême; who would become Francis I of France.

Claude would become the first wife of Francis I of France although she had previously been promised to the future Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. The pawn of so much dynastic maneuvering, she was short in stature and afflicted with scoliosis, which gave her a hunched back. She was eclipsed at court by her mother-in-law, Louise of Savoy & her sister-in-law, the literary and erudite Marguerite, Queen Consort of Navarre. When Francis became King in 1515, both Anne Boleyn & her sister Mary Boleyn became part of her retinue of ladies-in-waiting. Anne served as Claude's official translator whenever there were English visitors, such as in 1520 at the "Field of the Cloth of Gold" meeting between Francis I & King Henry VIII. Mary Boleyn would become her husband's mistress although with much discretion. Claude's life was spent in an endless round of annual pregnancies and had 7 children, dying when she was only 24 years old. She was exceptionally pious, reserved, and not considered attractive. Although Francis was unfaithful, he deferred to her gentle and shy personality.

Gentility: Descended from the Royal House of Valois-Orléans, daughter of King Louis XII of France and consort of France to Francis I. Capetian Dynasty, House of Valois.

Position: Queen consort of France, Duchess of Brittany in her own right.

Personality type: Claude imposed a strict moral code on her own household, which only a few like Mary Boleyn chose to flout. Anne Boleyn, however, elicited her fondness: she lodged a formal protest when Anne was recalled to England. Claude's younger sister, Renee, also fondly remembered Anne Boleyn's kindness.

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s):

Queen Claude - The Tudors Wiki

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Coat of Arms of Claude of France
Arms of Claude as Queen consort of France.

Claude of France, Duchess of Brittany
Arms of Claude as
Princess of France and Duchess of Brittany.


Family members:
Father: King Louis XII of France
Mother: Anne of Dreux, Duchess of Brittany
Paternal Grandfather:
Charles of Valois, Duke of Orléans
Paternal Grandmother: Maria of Cleves (Maria von Kleve), daughter of Adolf I, Duke of Cleves (great-great-grandfather of Anne of Cleves)
Maternal Grandfather: Francis II of Dreux, Duke of Brittany
Maternal Grandmother: Marguerite de Foix, daughter of Queen Regent Eleanor of Navarre.

Princess Renée of France, Duchess of Ferrara and Chartres (1510-1575)
Half-brother: Charles Orlando, Dauphin of France (1492-1495)
Half-brother: Charles, Dauphin of France (8 Sep-2 Oct 1496)

Half-brother: Francis, Dauphin of France (born and died 1497)
Half-sister: Anne, Princess of France (born and died 20 March 1498)

Son: Francis, Dauphin of France and Duke of Brittany (1518-1536)
Son: King Henry II of France (1519-1559)
Son: Charles, Duke of Orleans and
Angoulême (1522-1545)
Daughter: Louise, Princess of France (1515-1517)
Daughter: Charlotte, Princess of France (1516-1524)
Daughter: Madeleine of France, Queen consort of Scotland (1520-1537), married James V of Scotland. No issue.
Daughter: Marguerite of France, Duchess of Berry and Savoy (1523-1574)


First wife of King Francis I of France (1514-1524)




  • "But tell me first, how is your beautiful wife [[[Princess Margaret Tudor|Margaret]]]? She's just like me, no? You have affairs and she ignores it. To make love for revenge, or pain, what is that? It hurts the mind, and the soul it shrinks. Vous comprenez, monsieur - the soul grows smaller. And perhaps it even dies." (to Charles Brandon in Episode 1.7)


  • When she tells Charles Brandon she's not interested in having an affair with him (episode 1.7)

  • During the wrestling match, she and Katherine of Aragon hold hands in worry of their husbands, despite coming from two royal families who are the bitterest of enemies (episode 1.2)

Queen Claude
Queen Claude of France
Queen Claude
Queen Claude
Queen Claude
Queen Claude
Queen ClaudeQueen Claude of France
Katherine and Claude
Two Queens
Queen Claude
Francis and Claude
Queen Claude
Queen Claude of France by Claude Corneille de Lyon
Queen Claude
Queen Claude of France
Queen Claude
Spanish drawing of Claude, titled "Claudia de Francia"
Queen Claude
Sketch of Claude
Queen Claude's effigy
Statue of Claude above her tomb
Queen Claude of France
Queen Claude de Valois, Duchess of Brittany
by Francois Clouet, 1520
Queen Claude
Rough sketch identified as Claude
Queen Claude
Portrait presumed to be Claude
Queen Claude of France
Queen Claude of France with her daughters: at the front, Charlotte (left) and Louise (right), both of whom died young; right and behind, Madeleine, Queen consort of Scotland; left and behind, Marguerite, Duchess consort of Savoy
Queen Claude's prayer book
<a class="external" href="http://www.themorgan.org/collections/swf/exhibOnline.asp?id=1000" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Prayer Book of Claude de France</a> is a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that was made for Claude (1499–1524) around 1517, the year she was crowned queen of France. Her coat of arms appears on three different folios. The book is richly illustrated: the borders of each leaf are painted, front and back, with 132 scenes from the lives of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and numerous saints. The manuscript and a companion Book of Hours also made for the queen (in a Paris private collection) were illuminated by an artist who was given the nickname Master of Claude de France after these two volumes. Active in the French city of Tours during the first quarter of the sixteenth century, the artist worked in a style that can be characterized as the pinnacle of elegance. The colors of his delicate palette are applied in tiny, seemingly invisible brushstrokes. Only about a dozen manuscripts painted by the artist survive.
Queen Claude of France

Princess Charlotte of France
Daughter of Queen Claude and Francis I,
Charlotte of Valois by Jean Clouet
Francis of Brittany, Dauphin of France
Son of Queen Claude and Francis I,
Francis, Duke of Brittany and Dauphin of France by Francois Clouet, 1533
King Henry II of France
Son of Queen Claude and Francis I, King Henry II of France
Madeleine of Valois
Daughter of Queen Claude and Francis I,
Madeleine de Valois, Queen consort of Scotland to James V, son of Princess Mary Rose Tudor (Princess Margaret Tudor in the series) by Francois Clouet, 1537
Charles II de Valois, Duke of Orleans
Son of Queen Claude and Francis I,
Charles of France, Duke of Angoulême and Orléans by Jean Clouet
Margaret of Valois, Duchess of Berry
Daughter of Queen Claude and Francis I,
Marguerite of France, Duchess of Berry