The Regent, Louise of Savoy

On 1 January 1515 Louise of Savoy’s son became king and by July, François I was at war in Italy, leaving the Regent, Louise de Savoy in charge. He was away until early in 1516.

The Regent, Louise of Savoy
The Regent, Louise of Savoy, Duchess of Angoulême

Her contemporaries, among them Pope Leo X, acknowledged and appreciated her status as a powerful mater regis. Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, and second husband to Mary Tudor, sent Henry VIII an equally glowing assessment of the king’s mother: “Sir, it is she who runs all, and so may she well; for I never saw a woman like to her, both for wit, honour and dignity. She hath a great stroke in all matters with the King her son.”

Louise of Savoy’s second regency lasted considerably longer than her first. On 24 February 1525, the French king lost the battle of Pavia. Imperial troops took him first to Pavia, then to Genoa and finally to Naples. Emperor Charles V, his bitterest enemy, ordered him moved from Barcelona on to Madrid in July. He stayed in prison near Madrid until February 1526, while his mother, the Regent, Louise of Savoy, worked feverishly for his release.

The regent, Louise of Savoy, was a politically active, assertive woman and a mother of a French king, but she had never been Queen of France herself. Not born into the monarchy, she was daughter to Phillip II of Savoy and his wife Marguerite de Bourbon. Louise’s father spent most of his life as the younger son. Read more in: Louise of Savoy: Madame la regente – History of Royal Women

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