Princesses of Orange – Éléonore de Bourbon

(public domain)

Éléonore de Bourbon was born on 30 April 1587 as the daughter of Henri I de Bourbon and his second wife, Charlotte Catherine de la Tremoille. Her father was a first cousin of King Henry IV of France, and thus she was closely connected to the French court. She had a half-sister from her father’s previous marriage and a full brother, who eventually succeeded to their father’s titles. Her future husband was the son of William, Prince of Orange and his first wife, Anna of Buren. His name was Philip William. When they were married in 1606, he was already 51 years old. He had had a troubled childhood. His mother died in 1558 when he was just four years old, and he was taken as a hostage in February 1568 by the Spanish and taken to Spain to be raised as a good Catholic. He never saw his father again, and the Dutch never again trusted him. By this marriage, the French king finally recognised Philip William as Prince of Orange.

Not much is know about Éléonore’s youth, but she was most likely raised at the French Court. Despite marrying a much older man, it is believed that it was a happy marriage. Éléonore followed her husband on his many campaigns. They would have no children together, but Éléonore raised her great-niece Louise de Bourbon. The marriage would come to an end quite suddenly when Philip William died after a failed medical treatment. He willed his entire inheritance to his half-brother, and Éléonore was left with nothing.

She was still young and perhaps expected to marry again. She died just 11 months later on 20 January 1619, still only 31 years old. It is not known what her cause of death was.

About Moniek Bloks 2762 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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