Consort of the duchesse de Lorraine
Captaincy – Master
Strategy – Master Superior
The eldest surviving son of François II de Lorraine, comte de Vaudémont, Charles (b. 1604) grew up at the court of France as a playmate of the future Louis XIII, his senior by three years. François was considered as a possible husband for Louis’ mother, Marie de’ Medici, before she married Henri IV and became Queen of France.
Charles’ uncle, Henri II, the sovereign duc de Lorraine, produced no male heir, and François suggested that his son Charles should be considered himself the heir to the duchies of Lorraine and Bar, under a so-called will of le duc René II which stated that the duchies should be transmitted in the male line. The hostility of Henri II, who intended to leave the duchies to his eldest daughter Nicole, toward young Charles convinced him to move away from the court. Charles joined the armies of Emperor Ferdinand, the nominal liege of the duchy of Lorraine, and at sixteen distinguished himself in combat at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620.
After lengthy negotiations between François II and Henri II, Charles returned to Nancy and married his cousin Nicole, Henri’s heir, in 1621. The marriage agreement stipulated that Nicole retains the titles of duchesse de Lorraine et Bar, while Charles of Lorraine holds the authority of his wife.
Henry II died on 31 July 1624, leaving Nicole as la duchesse and Charles as her consort.