Historical Figure
Francis II
History's Francis II
Biographical Information
Real Name: Francis II
Title: Francis II of France
Reign: 10 July 1559 –
5 December 1560
Coronation: 21 September 1559
Predecessor: Henry II of France
Successor: Charles IX
Born: 19 January 1544
Death: 5 December 1560
Age: 16
Religion: Roman Catholic
House: House of Valois
Gender: Male Male
Parents: King Henry (Father)

Queen Catherine (Mother)

Wife: Mary, Queen of Scots
Family: Queen Elisabeth (Sister)

Princess Claude (Sister)
Prince Louis (Brother)
Prince Charles IX (Brother)
Prince Henry III (Brother)
Princess Margaret (Sister)
Francis of Valois (Brother)
Joanna of Valois (Sister)
Victoria of Valois (Sister)

Affiliations: House of Stuart

House of Medici

COD: Syncope
Burial: Saint Denis Basilica, France
TV Character Information
First appearance: Pilot
Portrays: King Francis
Portrayed by: Toby Regbo

Francis II was the young King of France after his father dies when he was 16. He was already married to Mary, Queen of Scots.


Born eleven years after his parents' wedding, Francis was named after his grandfather, King Francis I. Francis was at first raised at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He was baptized on February 10, 1544, at the Chapelle des Trinitaires in Fontainebleau. Francis became Governor of Languedoc in 1546, and the Dauphin of France in 1547, after his grandfather's passing. [1]

Arranged MarriageEdit

His father King Henry II arranged the betrothal of his son to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the Châtillon agreement on 27 January 1548, when Francis was four years old. Mary had been crowned Mary, Queen of Scots in Stirling Castle when she was 9 months old. Besides being the Queen of Scotland, Mary was the niece of Claude, Duke of Guise, a very influential figure at the court of France. Soon the six-year-old Mary was sent to France to be raised at court until the marriage.

On 24 April 1558, the 14-year-old Dauphin married 15-year-old Queen of Scots. Until his death, Francis held the title King consort of Scotland.

A little over a year after his marriage, on 10 July 1559, Francis became King at 15, when his father died in a jousting accident. On 21 September 1559, Francis II was crowned king. The crown was so heavy that nobles had to hold it in place for him. The court then moved to the Loire Valley, where the Château de Blois became the couple's new home.

At the age of 15, Francis was considered to be an adult who did not need a regent. However since he was young, inexperienced, and in fragile health, he delegated his power to his wife's uncles from the noble House of Guise, François, Duke of Guise, and Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine. His mother, Catherine de' Medici, agreed to this delegation.

On the first day of his reign, Francis II instructed his four ministers to take orders from his mother, but since she was still in mourning for the loss of her husband, she directed them to the House of Guise. [2]


Francis II's reign was dominated by religious crisis. His unpopular and repressive policy toward Protestantism motivated the Amboise conspiracy, in which certain Protestant leaders attempted a coup d'état against the king and the House of Guise. Due to growing discontent, the government tried conciliation. Under the influence of Catherine de' Medici. Until the end of Francis's reign, the kingdom was paralyzed by local revolts. He reacted by becoming more authoritarian.

With the marriage of Francis II and Mary, Queen of Scots the future of Scotland was linked to that of France. The Crown Matrimonial, a secret clause signed by the Queen provided that Scotland would become part of France if the royal couple did not have children. The Queen's mother, Marie of Guise, became regent for Scotland.

Because of French control over their country, a congregation of Scottish lords made the Regent and her French councils leave the capital, Edinburgh, in May of 1559. Having taken refuge at the fortress of Dunbar, Marie of Guise asked France for help. Francis II and Mary Stuart sent troops right away. By the end of 1559, France was back in control of Scotland.

Nothing seemed to stand in the way of France controlling Scotland apart from English support for the uprising of the Scottish nobles. Queen Elizabeth of England was still offended that Francis II and Mary Stuart had put on their coat of arms those of England, thus proclaiming Mary's claims on the throne of England.

In January 1560, the English fleet blockaded the port of Leith, which French troops had turned into a military base. Months later they were supported by the arrival of 6000 soldiers and 3000 horsemen, which began the siege of the city.

After losing another battle with England, On 6 July 1560, they signed the Treaty of Edinburgh, which ended French occupation of Scotland. Francis II and Mary Stuart had to withdraw French troops and stop displaying England's arms.

Weeks later, Scotland's parliament established Protestantism as the state religion. When Francis II and Mary Stuart were presented with the Treaty of Edinburgh, they were outraged and refused to sign it. [3]


The health of the King deteriorated, and on 16 November he suffered a syncope. After 17 months on the throne, Francis II died on 5 December 1560 in Orléans, Loiret, from an ear condition. Francis II died childless, so his younger brother 10 year old Charles, succeeded him. On 21 December, the Council named Catherine de Médici as Regent of France.

The Guises left the court, while Mary, Queen of Scots, Francis II's widow, returned to Scotland. On 23 December 1560, the body of Francis II was interred in the Saint-Denis by the Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon. [4]


  • King Henry II's sister, Madeleine of Valois, was Mary, Queen of Scots' father's first wife.
  • His Godparents were Francis I, Pope Paul III, and his great-aunt Marguerite de Navarre.
  • King Francis II was named after his paternal grandfather, King Francis I, and uncle Prince Francis I.
  • Prince Francis was born 11 years and 3 months after his parent's were married.
  • Francis had 3 half-siblings from his father's mistresses, and 9 more siblings from his parent's marriage.
  • Francis and Mary were engaged when he was 4, and Mary, Queen of Scots was 5.
  • Prince Francis II was 13 in the year 1557, the start of Season One.
  • Francis and Mary's public wedding took place on 24 of April in 1558 at the Church of Notre Dame in Paris.
  • Francis I knighted him during his baptism ceremony.
  • Francis learned dancing from Virgilio Bracesco and fencing from Hector of Mantua.
  • Mary and Francis had no children during their short marriage, possibly due to Francis' illnesses, or his undescended testicles.
  • Francis' crown was so heavy that nobles had to hold it in place for him.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots had briefly met her future husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley in February 1561 when she was in mourning for King Francis II. Darnley's parents, Lord and Lady Lennox, who were Scottish aristocrats as well as English landowners, had sent him to France ostensibly to extend their condolences while hoping for a potential match between the two.
  • King Francis II died on 5 December 1560 when he was 16 from Syncope.

Family TreeEdit

  • History's Valois Family Tree
King Francis I
Claude of France
Duke Francis
King Henry II
Catherine de' Medici
Madeleine of Valois
King Francis II
Queen Elisabeth
King Philip II
Princess Claude
King Charles IV
King Henry III
Queen Margaret
Catherine Michelle
Duke Henry II
Christina of Lorraine
Marie Elisabeth

  • History's Valois/Bourbon Family Tree
King Henry II of Navarre
Marguerite of Angoulême
King Francis I of France
Claude of France
Queen Jeanne
King Antoine
King Henry
Queen Catherine
James Stuart
Henry, Duke of Beaumont
Henry de Bourbon
Catherine de Bourbon
King Charles
Princess Claude
Queen Elisabeth
King Francis
Queen Mary

Related PagesEdit

Pages relating to King Francis are the following:

King Francis 
History's King Francis
Francis and Mary's WeddingKing Francis' Coronation
Francis and king HenryFrancis and SebastianFrancis and Queen Catherine
king Francis and Queen MaryPrince Francis and Olivia
Francis and LeithKing Francis and Lady Lola
Francis' Kill CountFrancis's Room
Toby Regbo

Historical Figure

Pages: Historical Events | Historical References | Historical Timeline |
Kings: King Antoine of Navarre | King Edward of England | King Henry II of France | King Henry VIII of England |
King James V of Scotland | King Francis I of France | King Francis II of France | King Charles IX of France |
King Philip II of Spain |
Queens: Queen Catherine of France | Queen Mary of Scotland | Queen Anne of England | Queen Elizabeth of England | Queen Jane of England | Queen Mary of England | Queen Jeanne of Navarre | Queen Elisabeth of Spain |
Princes: Prince of the Blood, Louis Condé | Price Don Carlos of Spain | Price Henry of France | Prince Henry de Bourbon | Duke Francis of France |
Princesses: Princess Claude of France | Catherine of Aragon | Princess Catherine de Bourbon |
Lords: Robert Dudley | William Cecil | Henry Darnley | Matthew Lennox | Patrick Ruthven
Ladies: Amy Dudley | Mary Boleyn | Mary Fleming | Mary Livingston | Mary Beaton | Mary Seton | Margaret Lennox |
Nobles: Diane de Poitiers | James Stuart | Marie de Guise | Lucrezia de' Medici |
Others: Nostradamus | John Knox | Pope Clement VII |

References Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.