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Catherine de' Medici


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Queen of France. The wife of Henry II of France, Catherine ruled as regent (1560–74) during the minority reigns of their three sons, Francis II (reigned 1559–60), Charles IX (reigned 1560–74), and Henry III (reigned 1574–89). She proved unable or unwilling to control the confused situation during the French Wars of Religion, and it was on her instigation that Huguenots were killed in the Massacre of St Bartholomew (1572).

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