Of all of Elizabeth’s potential suitors, Francis of Anjou was one of, if not the closest to winning Elizabeth’s hand. Obviously she decided against the marriage due to religious and political concerns. But what if the marriage had gone through? Obviously, Elizabeth will probably not have issue with Francis (or if she does it will be confined to a single child given her age). How does the English court and nobility react? Leicester and the Privy Council (bar Cecil and Sussex) were against the match and would come into conflict with Elizabeth quickly. Could plots to depose her gain more traction here? More interestingly, Mary Queen of Scots is still kicking at this time, so could we see the French encouraging Elizabeth to restore her to throne (IIRC this was part of the reason for Catherine de Medici’s drive for the match). What else would change? Is this even possible?
 
I don’t think this marriage would lead to plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Francis would have no power over England after all. As for Mary Queen of Scots, I may be wrong but Elizabeth helping to restore her seems nearly ASB to me.

The actual issues with such a marriage would come from France.
Francis’ older brother, King Henry III of France, notoriously had trouble to produce children (his wife was pregnant only once and she miscarried). Francis was his heir presumptive. The next-in-line after Francis was the Calvinist Henry of Navarre. This is what led to the Eighth French Religious War after Francis’ death.
At a time when France desperately needed a Catholic heir, a marriage between the king’s brother and the Anglican queen of England looks like the worst possible idea.
I doubt Henry III would’ve allowed this marriage as long as he did not have a son.
 
I don’t think this marriage would lead to plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Francis would have no power over England after all. As for Mary Queen of Scots, I may be wrong but Elizabeth helping to restore her seems nearly ASB to me.

The actual issues with such a marriage would come from France.
Francis’ older brother, King Henry III of France, notoriously had trouble to produce children (his wife was pregnant only once and she miscarried). Francis was his heir presumptive. The next-in-line after Francis was the Calvinist Henry of Navarre. This is what led to the Eighth French Religious War after Francis’ death.
At a time when France desperately needed a Catholic heir, a marriage between the king’s brother and the Anglican queen of England looks like the worst possible idea.
I doubt Henry III would’ve allowed this marriage as long as he did not have a son.
This does lead to me imagining the maximum chaos option, King Henry III manages a single son and in part due to concerns everyone involved is getting too old to delay allows the marriage.

Elizabeth and Frances in turn just about manage a single male heir (and nothing afterwards). Then Henry's son dies in childhood..... Suddenly England and France have a single male heir, with neither of them having a great line of succession if they try and skip
 
If Francis and Elizabeth end up having a son who inherits France and England...hello, 100 year war 2.0
Not if the heir decides that Paris is well worth becoming Catholic.The French have no choice really.The house of Valois is on the verge of extinction and the other next guy in the line of succession is a Calvinist.
 
Last edited:
Not if the heir decides that Paris is well worth becoming Catholic.The French have no choice really.The house of Valois is on the verge of extinction and the other next guy in the line of succession is a Calvinist.
Well, Paris might be worth being Catholic, but he'd lose London that way.
 
O dale a Elizabeth dos hijos con la diferencia de un año, no es muy complicado decir que hubo tres o dos años de armonía matrimonial hasta que las diferencias políticas y religiosas los separaron. Tendrías un hijo para Inglaterra y uno para Francia, cambia el sexo de James VI y une a Inglaterra y Escocia si quieres o Francia y Escocia, da lo mismo.
 
Well, Paris might be worth being Catholic, but he'd lose London that way.
Presuming the existence of this unified heir (let's call him Henry!)

If he went Catholic
While it could go a lot of different ways I suspect the Catholics win this one with the resulting being more French led then English. As there is a not insignificant Catholic population in England including some fairly important members of the aristocracy (who are generally actually loyal to the British government but well now the legitimate king is catholic so they don't have divided loyalties), and the English advantages always been its fleet acting as a wooden wall so the island divided, give the French a place to land and friendly troops removing that advantage while the French are pretty much all on one side so King Henry 4th and 9th, likely wins the war and forms a personal union (although a pretty loose one) I doubt this would lead to a full unification though so unless there's a lot of luck one way or the other this just means Henry's heirs split England and France between them at a later date (although England is likely getting a lot more catholic first and France a lot more relatively powerful).

If he went Protestant
the war of the French succession, the vast majority of the French wouldn't back him but there's no clear other candidate so I expect a bunch of different powers would get involved backing their favourite party much more likely to expand into a general war in Europe and without a clear winner. It's still possible Henry 9th and 4th wins if England get the right backers but would be treated much more like a conqueror and likely have trouble holding it but I actually suspect would be the most likely result is some sort of awkward compromise candidate and even if England 'wins' victory looking more like carving out some areas of influence in France and nabbing some colonial territory simply because it's too big a nation to digests.
 
I don’t think this marriage would lead to plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Francis would have no power over England after all. As for Mary Queen of Scots, I may be wrong but Elizabeth helping to restore her seems nearly ASB to me.
It'd probably make her unpopular and maybe lead to a few plots to kill Francis and maybe a plot against her (people were possibly still trying to get Mary on the throne at this time). As for Mary, wasn't one of the reasons for the marriage that the French wanted Mary back on her throne? I could be wrong however.
The actual issues with such a marriage would come from France.
Francis’ older brother, King Henry III of France, notoriously had trouble to produce children (his wife was pregnant only once and she miscarried). Francis was his heir presumptive. The next-in-line after Francis was the Calvinist Henry of Navarre. This is what led to the Eighth French Religious War after Francis’ death.
At a time when France desperately needed a Catholic heir, a marriage between the king’s brother and the Anglican queen of England looks like the worst possible idea.
I doubt Henry III would’ve allowed this marriage as long as he did not have a son.
Hmm, this is true. However, AIUI Catherine de Medici was in favour of the match, as was Francis and Elizabeth, so I could see a family feud breaking out in the Valois and possibly Francis marrying Elizabeth without Henry's permission (would this result in a punishment for him in France?). Who else would Henry offer to Francis? Also there is a chance no heir is produced by the marriage given Elizabeth's age.
This does lead to me imagining the maximum chaos option, King Henry III manages a single son and in part due to concerns everyone involved is getting too old to delay allows the marriage.

Elizabeth and Frances in turn just about manage a single male heir (and nothing afterwards). Then Henry's son dies in childhood..... Suddenly England and France have a single male heir, with neither of them having a great line of succession if they try and skip
In this scenario, both sides would agree that the heir be raised in both countries (moving every 6 months) and that the kingdoms should be split between his heirs. As for what religion the child would be, that would be messy and could lead to a civil war in either country (probably France since tensions are still high). Though Francis was apparently a promoter of peace between Protestants and Catholics, so maybe he could bring them to an agreement?
If Francis and Elizabeth end up having a son who inherits France and England...hello, 100 year war 2.0
It would get messy quickly.
Not if the heir decides that Paris is well worth becoming Catholic.The French have no choice really.The house of Valois is on the verge of extinction and the other next guy in the line of succession is a Calvinist.
Well, Paris might be worth being Catholic, but he'd lose London that way.
Who they gonna choose as king? You gonna abandon the son of the beloved Queen Elizabeth for a Scot or go republic?
I mean, if the English reject a French King, they are asking for a war (and one they probably can't win, unless Spain pipes in to stop such a union). They could install Edward Seymour or Margaret Stanley or one of her kids as King/Queen.
Just gender-bend James VI. Boom, you don't need to do either
I don't understand what you mean here. If anything it makes it easier since the English could try to control her or marry her to an English nobleman.
O dale a Elizabeth dos hijos con la diferencia de un año, no es muy complicado decir que hubo tres o dos años de armonía matrimonial hasta que las diferencias políticas y religiosas los separaron. Tendrías un hijo para Inglaterra y uno para Francia, cambia el sexo de James VI y une a Inglaterra y Escocia si quieres o Francia y Escocia, da lo mismo.
Giving Elizabeth twin sons (or heck a twin boy and a girl, since the latter could be given England), would be the cleanest way to sort everything out. It would also be interesting to see Elizabeth and Francis have a fall out and how it affects them and their reigns (if Francis lives long enough to get one). A union between Scotland and England is more likely in that scenario.
If he went Catholic
While it could go a lot of different ways I suspect the Catholics win this one with the resulting being more French led then English. As there is a not insignificant Catholic population in England including some fairly important members of the aristocracy (who are generally actually loyal to the British government but well now the legitimate king is catholic so they don't have divided loyalties), and the English advantages always been its fleet acting as a wooden wall so the island divided, give the French a place to land and friendly troops removing that advantage while the French are pretty much all on one side so King Henry 4th and 9th, likely wins the war and forms a personal union (although a pretty loose one) I doubt this would lead to a full unification though so unless there's a lot of luck one way or the other this just means Henry's heirs split England and France between them at a later date (although England is likely getting a lot more catholic first and France a lot more relatively powerful).
This is true, there were some people who contemplated giving Isabella Clara Eugenia the throne after Elizabeth's death in OTL, so they could support Henry IV as King here, especially if he is raised in England for some time. Though the English could enjoy support from Spain, who would want to stop such a union from forming since it would make France far more powerful than they would like.
If he went Protestant
the war of the French succession, the vast majority of the French wouldn't back him but there's no clear other candidate so I expect a bunch of different powers would get involved backing their favourite party much more likely to expand into a general war in Europe and without a clear winner. It's still possible Henry 9th and 4th wins if England get the right backers but would be treated much more like a conqueror and likely have trouble holding it but I actually suspect would be the most likely result is some sort of awkward compromise candidate and even if England 'wins' victory looking more like carving out some areas of influence in France and nabbing some colonial territory simply because it's too big a nation to digests.
Yeah, if Henry was protestant he'd probably only rule France in name only and leave the throne to one of his sons (raised catholic of course) and hope he is accepted. I could see the Huegenots backing him while the Spanish opt for someone else (maybe Philip Ii could push one of his daughters 'claims'? It was considered in OTL IIRC).
How old would she have been when they married?
The marriage came closest to frution in 1579/80 she'd be around 48 but some of her relatives had children in their 40s so it's not impossible for her kids to have a child, though it is unlikely.
 
It'd probably make her unpopular and maybe lead to a few plots to kill Francis and maybe a plot against her (people were possibly still trying to get Mary on the throne at this time). As for Mary, wasn't one of the reasons for the marriage that the French wanted Mary back on her throne? I could be wrong however.

Hmm, this is true. However, AIUI Catherine de Medici was in favour of the match, as was Francis and Elizabeth, so I could see a family feud breaking out in the Valois and possibly Francis marrying Elizabeth without Henry's permission (would this result in a punishment for him in France?). Who else would Henry offer to Francis? Also there is a chance no heir is produced by the marriage given Elizabeth's age.

In this scenario, both sides would agree that the heir be raised in both countries (moving every 6 months) and that the kingdoms should be split between his heirs. As for what religion the child would be, that would be messy and could lead to a civil war in either country (probably France since tensions are still high). Though Francis was apparently a promoter of peace between Protestants and Catholics, so maybe he could bring them to an agreement?

It would get messy quickly.



I mean, if the English reject a French King, they are asking for a war (and one they probably can't win, unless Spain pipes in to stop such a union). They could install Edward Seymour or Margaret Stanley or one of her kids as King/Queen.

I don't understand what you mean here. If anything it makes it easier since the English could try to control her or marry her to an English nobleman.

Giving Elizabeth twin sons (or heck a twin boy and a girl, since the latter could be given England), would be the cleanest way to sort everything out. It would also be interesting to see Elizabeth and Francis have a fall out and how it affects them and their reigns (if Francis lives long enough to get one). A union between Scotland and England is more likely in that scenario.

This is true, there were some people who contemplated giving Isabella Clara Eugenia the throne after Elizabeth's death in OTL, so they could support Henry IV as King here, especially if he is raised in England for some time. Though the English could enjoy support from Spain, who would want to stop such a union from forming since it would make France far more powerful than they would like.

Yeah, if Henry was protestant he'd probably only rule France in name only and leave the throne to one of his sons (raised catholic of course) and hope he is accepted. I could see the Huegenots backing him while the Spanish opt for someone else (maybe Philip Ii could push one of his daughters 'claims'? It was considered in OTL IIRC).

The marriage came closest to frution in 1579/80 she'd be around 48 but some of her relatives had children in their 40s so it's not impossible for her kids to have a child, though it is unlikely.
Philip II would NOT push his daughter's claim ITTL with legitimate Valois male heir floating around. James VI being a girl means that she can marry the heir to England/France and thus solves that issue. MQOS is likely not going to get her throne back as she was useless and she had produced heir already.
 
TBH, a union of Scotland, France and England is probably going to have Spain wetting itself - they're not squabbling between themselves anymore because they're united in one monarch. Give it a generation or two...

As for the marriage itself, they're definitely getting excommunicated for it. In 1550, Henry II began negotiations for the marriage of Elisabeth of Valois to the English King, Edward VI. This arrangement brought condemnation from Pope Julius III who reportedly stated that he would excommunicate both the French monarch and his daughter if Elisabeth agreed to marry with the English sovereign. Henry, undeterred, agreed to a 200,000 ecus dowry, which became irrelevant upon Edward's death in 1553.

If Anjou marries Liz, they're definitely getting Excommunicated by the Pope.
 
TBH, a union of Scotland, France and England is probably going to have Spain wetting itself - they're not squabbling between themselves anymore because they're united in one monarch. Give it a generation or two...

As for the marriage itself, they're definitely getting excommunicated for it. In 1550, Henry II began negotiations for the marriage of Elisabeth of Valois to the English King, Edward VI. This arrangement brought condemnation from Pope Julius III who reportedly stated that he would excommunicate both the French monarch and his daughter if Elisabeth agreed to marry with the English sovereign. Henry, undeterred, agreed to a 200,000 ecus dowry, which became irrelevant upon Edward's death in 1553.

If Anjou marries Liz, they're definitely getting Excommunicated by the Pope.
Elizabeth was already ex-communicated.
 
Philip II would NOT push his daughter's claim ITTL with legitimate Valois male heir floating around. James VI being a girl means that she can marry the heir to England/France and thus solves that issue. MQOS is likely not going to get her throne back as she was useless and she had produced heir already.
I agree, I was speaking in the event that the child is Protestant, hence he alienates the Catholic nobility which Philip attempts to exploit, to prevent the potential Anglo-Scot-France monstrosity from being created. Otherwise, yeah, I can’t see Isabella Clara Eugenia getting the throne, but she may be floated around. As for MQOS true, though if I am not mistaken the French wanted her restoration as part of the marriage, though that could be left out here.
TBH, a union of Scotland, France and England is probably going to have Spain wetting itself - they're not squabbling between themselves anymore because they're united in one monarch. Give it a generation or two...

As for the marriage itself, they're definitely getting excommunicated for it. In 1550, Henry II began negotiations for the marriage of Elisabeth of Valois to the English King, Edward VI. This arrangement brought condemnation from Pope Julius III who reportedly stated that he would excommunicate both the French monarch and his daughter if Elisabeth agreed to marry with the English sovereign. Henry, undeterred, agreed to a 200,000 ecus dowry, which became irrelevant upon Edward's death in 1553.

If Anjou marries Liz, they're definitely getting Excommunicated by the Pope.
Yeah, Philip is going to try and stop it from forming no matter what. Maybe he frees Mary of Scots and attempts to reinstall her on the throne and hope for the best? Or maybe he sponsors an English claimant, probably a Stanley, since I think they were Catholic, or Mary herself. As for the excommunication, AIUI all sides wanted the marriage to badly to give it up.
 
We are discussing a scenario in which Elizabeth has legitimate son with Francis of Anjou, the only reason why an Anglo-French union can be formed in the first place? In which case what reason do the Stanleys have to take the throne over this son? What is likelier is for Philip to try and sire a daughter to marry her off to this boy
 
Top