Henrietta Maria

Henrietta Maria (mərĪˈə) [key], 1609–69, queen consort of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of France. She married Charles in 1625. Although she was devoted and loyal to her husband, her Roman Catholic faith made her suspect in England. By her negotiations with the pope, with foreign powers, and with English army officers, she added to the suspicions against Charles that helped to precipitate (1642) the English civil war. After 1644 she lived in France, making continual efforts to secure foreign aid for her husband until his execution in 1649. She returned (1660) to England after the Restoration, but resumed living in France in 1665. Her influence may have affected the religious beliefs of her sons Charles II and James II, although she herself was unsuccessful in her attempts to convert them to Catholicism.

See biography by E. Hamilton (1976); study by Q. Bone (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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