Spotlight – Catherine of Valois

Name: Catherine of Valois

Title/s: Queen of England

Birth / Death: 27 October 1401 – 3 January 1437

Spouse: Henry V of England 1420-1422 & Owen Tudor?

Children: Henry VI of England 1421-1471 / Edmund Earl of Richmond 1430-1456 / Jasper Duke of Bedford 1431-1495 / Edward ?-? / Owen ?-? / Margaret 1437-1437

Parents: Charles VI of France 1368-1422 & Isabella of Bavaria 1370-1435

Siblings: Charles 1386-1386 / Jeanne 1388-1390 / Isabella Duchess of Orleans 1389-1409 / Jeanne Duchess of Brittany 1391-1433 / Charles 1392-1401 / Marie 1393-1438 / Michelle 1395-1422 / Louis 1397-1415 / John 1398-1417 / Charles VII of France 1403-1461 / Philip 1407-1407

Noble Connections: Catherine became the grandmother of Henry VII of England through the marriage of her son, Edmund, to Margaret Beaufort. She was the wife of Henry V of England, and the daughter of Charles VI of France. Her sons became Earl of Richmond and Duke of Bedford.

Events of their Lifetime: Death of Henry IV and accession of Henry V 1413, Battle of Agincourt 1415, Death of Henry V and accession of Henry VI 1422, Siege of Orleans 1429, Execution of Joan of Arc 1431.

Controversy: It has been debated whether Catherine actually married her second ‘husband’, Owen Tudor. Some historians believe she did, but others believe not, which would make her children illegitimate.

Works of Fiction:
Vanora Bennett, The Queen’s Lover (2009)
Margaret Frazer, The Boy’s Tale (1995)
Mari Griffith, Root of the Tudor Rose (2014)
Joanna Hickson, The Agincourt Bride (2013)
Rosemary Hawley Jarman, Crown in Candlelight (1978)
Dedwydd Jones, The Lily and the Dragon (2002)
Anne O’Brien, The Forbidden Queen (2013)
Jean Plaidy, The Queen’s Secret (1989)
Martha Rofheart, Fortune Made His Sword (1972)

Portrayals on Screen:
Judi Dench, An Age of Kings, 1960, 2 episodes
Kay Hammond, Henry V, 1953, directed by Peter Watts
Gwyneth Horobin, Henry V, 2007, directed by Peter Babakitis
Melanie Thierry, The Hollow Crown, 2012, 1 episode
Emma Thompson, Henry V, 1989, directed by Kenneth Branagh

Further Reading:
Amy Licence, Red Roses: Blanche of Gaunt to Margaret Beaufort (2016)
David Loades, The Tudor Queens of England (2010)
Mary McGrigor, The Sister Queens: Isabella and Catherine de Valois (2016)
Laurel A. Rockerfeller, Catherine de Valois (2014)


 Arms of Catherine of Valois



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