Catherine de' Medici was born on April 13, 1519, in Florence, Italy. Born to nobility but orphaned shortly after birth, she was raised by nuns. At fourteen, she married King Henry II in 1533. He inherited the French throne and they had 10 children together. After Henry II’s death, three of her sons held the crown. She served as regent for each, making her a major player in the Catholic-Huguenot wars. She died in 1589.
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