Information about Queen Catherine of Navarre

Queen Catherine of Navarre (1468 - 12 February 1517)

Catherine (Basque: Katalina), Queen of Navarre, reigned from 1483 until 1517. She was also Duchess of Gandia, Montblanc, and Peñafiel, Countess of Foix, Bigorre, and Ribagorza, and Viscountess of Béarn.

Catherine was the younger daughter of Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana, and Magdalena of Valois, the sister of Louis XI of France. She was born and raised during the reign of her paternal great-grandfather, King John II, who was succeeded by her grandmother Eleanor in 1479. Their father having already died, the crown of Navarre devolved upon Catherine's brother Francis Phoebus upon their grandmother's death the same year. In 1483 the death of Francis made Catherine queen under the regency of their mother. Her uncle John of Foix, appealing to the Salic Law alien to the Kingdom of Navarre, claimed the throne and ignited a civil war (1483–1492) that reignited the old conflict of the Beaumont-Agramont parties. In 1484, hard pressed by ambitions over the throne of Navarre, Magdalena of Valois decided to marry 15-year-old Catherine to John of Albret, hailing from a noble family in western Gascony. This marriage was favored by many of Catherine's Iberian subjects and would have given Catherine much needed support in her fight against her uncle's claim.

After the marriage, Catherine ruled together with her husband (as John III) until his death on 17 June 1516. Queen Catherine did not outlive her husband much longer, and died in her domain of Mont-de-Marsan on 12 February 1517. Due to wartime losses of territory, after 1512 Catherine was actual queen only in some areas of Basse-Navarre, or Lower Navarre, north of the Pyrenees, but her domains extended to the contiguous Principality of Bearn and other lands.

In 1504, she made her will, confirming her son Henry's right to succeed her.

Queen Catherine of Navarre reigned in...
Reigned asIn CountryFromToCoins Issued
Katalina (Queen Catherine), first sole rule Flag of Navarre Navarre 7 January 1483 1484
Katalina (Queen Catherine) and Joanes III.a (King John III) Flag of Navarre Navarre 1484 14 June 1516
Katalina (Queen Catherine), second sole rule Flag of Navarre Navarre 14 June 1516 12 February 1517
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