Historical Figure
Queen Jeanne
Queen Jeanne III
Biographical Information
Real Name: Jeanne d'Albret
Title: Queen of Navarre

Queen Jeanne III
Duchess of Albret
Duchess of Vendôme

Reign: 10 July 1559 –
5 December 1560
Coronation: 18 August 1555 at Pau
Predecessor: King Henry II of Navarre

Henry III of Navarre

Successor: Henry III of Navarre
Born: 16 November 1528
Death: 9 June 1572
Age: 43
Religion: Huguenot
House: House of Bourbon
Gender: Female Female
Parents: Henry Albret (Father)

Margaret Angoulême (Mother)

Husband: Antoine de Bourbon

William of Jülich †

Family: Jean of Navarre (Brother)
Children: Henry, Duke of Beaumont

Henry IV de Bourbon
Louis-Charles de Bourbon
Madeleine de Bourbon
Catherine de Bourbon
Henry II, Duke of Lorraine

COD: Possibly poison by Catherine de' Medici, probably of illness
Burial: Ducal Church of collégiale Saint-Georges, Vendôme
TV Character Information
First appearance: Tasting Revenge
Portrays: Queen Jeanne
Portrayed by: Rebecca Rodley

Jeanne d'Albret is the Queen of Navarre, and the wife of Antoine de Bourbon. Jeanne was highly intelligent and austere and self-righteous,


Jeanne was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, at five o'clock in the afternoon on 16 November 1528. Her mother was the sister of King Francis I of France, making King Francis I her uncle, who also took over her education at he age of 2, away from her parents. She was taought by humanist Nicolas Bourbon.

In 1541, when Jeanne was 12, Francis I, for political reasons, forced her to marry William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, who was the brother of Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England. She had to be carried bodily to the altar by the Constable of France, Anne de Montmorency

2nd Arranged MarriageEdit

Her political marriage was annulled four years later on the grounds that it had not been consummated. She remained at the royal court.

After the death of King Francis I in 1547 and the accession of King Henry II to the French throne, At 19 years old, Jeanne married Antoine de Bourbon, "first prince of the blood" on 20 October 1548. The marriage was intended to consolidate territorial possessions in the north and south of France.

Sadly, Antoine was a notorious philanderer. In 1554, he fathered an illegitimate son, Charles, and his frequent absences left Jeanne in Béarn to rule alone, but in complete charge of a household that she managed with a firm and resolute hand.

The couple had five children, of whom only two, Henry, Henry IV, King of France and Catherine, duchess of Lorraine, lived to adulthood.

Queen of NavarreEdit

On 25 May 1555, Henry II of Navarre died, at which time Jeanne and her husband became joint rulers of Navarre, and nn 18 August they were crowned in a joint ceremony according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church.

Jeanne was influenced by her mother, who died in 1549, with leanings toward religious reform, humanist thinking, and individual liberty. This legacy was influential in her decision to convert to Calvinism. In the first year of her reign, Queen Jeanne III called a conference of beleaguered Protestant Huguenot ministers. She later declared Calvinism the official religion of her kingdom after publicly embracing the teachings of John Calvin on Christmas Day 1560. This conversion made her the highest-ranking Protestant in France.

Following this, priests and nuns were banished, Catholic churches destroyed, and Catholic ritual prohibited. She commissioned the translation of the New Testament into Basque and Béarnese for her subjects.

In 1561 after many years of religious wars Catherine de' Medici joint ruler of France with her son King Charles IX, appointed Antoine de Bourbon Lieutenant General of France.

Jeanne and Catherine de' Medici reached an agreement with a marriage contract between her son Henry and Catherine's daughter Marguerite on 11 April. Jeanne set up residence in Paris where she went on daily shopping trips to prepare for the upcoming wedding.


On 4 June 1572, 2 months before the wedding was due to take place, Jeanne returned home from one of her shopping excursions feeling ill. The next morning she woke up with a fever and complained of an ache in the upper right-hand side of her body. Five days later she died.

A popular rumour which circulated shortly afterward, maintained that Jeanne had been poisoned by Catherine de' Medici, who allegedly sent her a pair of perfumed gloves, skillfully poisoned by her perfumer.

After Jeanne's funeral, a cortege bearing her body travelled through the streets of Vendôme. She was buried beside her husband at Ducal Church of collégiale Saint-Georges. Her son Henry succeeded her, becoming King Henry III of Navarre. In 1589, he ascended the French throne as Henry IV; founding the Bourbon line of kings.


Family TreeEdit

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

Historical Figure

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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 |
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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 |
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Princesses: Princess Claude of France | Catherine of Aragon | Princess Catherine de Bourbon |
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