WI Charles VIII of France Lives?

Charles VIII, the Affable, was the last King of France from the direct line of the House of Valois, but his death in 1498 was an accident (he struck his head on the lintel of a door) and it happened when he was quite young (he died at age 27). At the time of his death, he had just lost the first of the many Italian Wars which would dominate European geopolitics in the first half of the 16th century. He also had no heirs: his wife, Anne, Duchess of Brittany, had seven known pregnancies in their seven years of marriage, but three were stillborn, and only one produced a child (Charles Orlando) who survived for more than a month (dying at the age of three). As a result, the throne passed to his second cousin, once removed, Louis, Duke of Orleans.

But what would have happened had he lived? His father Louis XI and elder sister Anne both made it to 60; if Charles does as well, he'll reign until 1530. His mother Charlotte of Savoy and younger sister Joan both lived to about 40, suggesting a reign lasting to 1510, and a minority for any surviving son, assuming he manages to have one. It's also possible that he could die at any other time in battle. Maybe he and Anne will keep having bad luck with kids, which makes things more interesting. So what might all this mean for a Europe about to enter an extremely tumultuous 16th century?
 
Top