Author(s): Alison Plowden
When the 15-year-old Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici, stepped on to the shore of England on 12 June 1625 to meet her future husband, Charles I, she spoke not a word of English. As a Catholic, she refused to be crowned at the Protestant coronation ceremony, and was soon at odds with her husband and unpopular with his country. But after the assassination of Buckingham, things improved dramatically as Charles transferred his emotional dependence from his favourite confidante to his wife, and the next ten years were the happiest of Henrietta's life. She was to bear three sons and three surviving daughters, and the King and Queen remained devoted to each other. This biography tells the story of the passionate and courageous wife of Charles I, the difficulties of the union between Protestant English king and Catholic princess, the genuine love that subsequently developed between them, and the tragic struggle for the monarchy that they endured together.