Christine Marie of France was born on 10 February 1606 in the Louvre Palace in Paris as the daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.
On her 13th birthday, she married the future Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy at the Louvre Palace. She was then known as the Princess of Piedmont. She and her sister, Henrietta Marie, acted as rivals somewhat in making their court the most splendorous and the sisters kept a close correspondence throughout their lives.
She and her husband became Duke and Duchess of Savoy upon the death of Christine’s father-in-law on 26 July 1630. Her husband died in 1637, and he was succeeded by their son, Francis Hyacinth, who was just five years old. Christine was created regent in the name of her son. He died of a fever in 1638 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Charmes Emmanuel II and Christine retained the regency. The young Duke’s uncles, Prince Maurice and Prince Thomas of Savoy, disputed Christine’s regency and after the death of Francis Hyacinth, the uncles began the Piedmontese Civil War, with the support of the Spanish.
After four years of civil war, Christine emerged as the victor. She owned much of that victory to French military support. Christine remained the formal regent of Savoy until 1648, but she remained at the centre of power at the invitation of her son.
Her private life was quite scandalous at the time, and she kept several men as her lovers, including the French Ambassador. She died on 27 December 1663 at the Palazzo Madama in Turin and was buried in the Vercelli Cathedral.