Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine

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Ambito francese - Isabella di Lorena, regina di Napoli.jpg
Duchess of Lorraine
Reign 1431–1453
Predecessor Charles II
Successor John II
Born 1400
Died 28 February 1453 (aged 53)
Spouse Rene of Anjou
Issue John II, Duke of Lorraine
Louis of Anjou
Yolande de Bar
Margaret, Queen of England
Charles, Count of Guise
House House of Châtenois
Father Charles II, Duke of Lorraine
Mother Margaret of the Palatinate

Isabella (1400 – 28 February 1453) was suo jure Duchess of Lorraine, from 25 January 1431 to her death in 1453. She was the first wife of Duke René of Anjou, King of Naples, and the mother of his children, which included Margaret of Anjou, Queen consort of England as the wife of Henry VI.

From 1435-42, she was Queen consort of Naples, and from 1442 until her death she was the titular queen consort. During her husband's absences, she acted as regent for his domains.


She was the eldest daughter of Charles II, Duke of Lorraine and Margaret of the Palatinate. Her paternal grandparents were John I, Duke of Lorraine and Sophie of Wurttemberg. Her maternal grandparents were Rupert of Germany and Elisabeth of Nuremberg, daughter of Burgrave Frederick V of Nuremberg and Elisabeth of Meissen.

Isabella inherited the duchy from her father upon his death, and ruled jointly with her husband, Duke René of Anjou, also Duke of Bar and King of Naples, whom she had married in 1419. During his absence, she acted as regent for his domains. She led an army to rescue her husband from Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, who held René in captivity from 1434 until 1436. The mid-16th century Chronicle of Gaspare Fuscolillo records that Isabella arrived in Naples on 15 October 1435.

When Charles VII of France visited in Nancy, they introduced Agnes Sorel to him, who was one of Isabella's ladies-in-waiting. She soon afterwards became the king's influential mistress.


René and Isabella had the following children:

  • John II (2 August 1424 – 16 December 1470), Duke of Lorraine and King of Naples, married Marie de Bourbon, daughter of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon, by whom he had issue. He also had several illegitimate children.
  • Louis (16 October 1427 – between 22 May and 16 October 1444), Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson and Lieutenant General of Lorraine. At the age of five, in 1432, he was sent as a hostage to Dijon with his brother John in exchange for their captive father. John was released, but Louis was not and died of pneumonia in prison.
  • Nicholas (2 November 1428 – 1430), twin with Yolande.
  • Yolande (2 November 1428 – 23 March 1483), married Frederick of Lorraine, count of Vaudemont; mother, among others, of duke René II of Lorraine.
  • Margaret (23 March 1430 – 25 August 1482), married King Henry VI of England, by whom she had a son, Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales.
  • Charles (1431 – 1432), Count of Guise.
  • Isabelle (died young).
  • René (died young).
  • Louise (1436 – 1438).
  • Anne (1437 – 1450, buried in Gardanne).

Isabella died on 28 February 1453 at the age of 53. Her son John succeeded her as Duke of Lorraine. She was buried in Angers Cathedral. René then married, on 10 September 1454, Jeanne de Laval, but this marriage was childless.

See also



French nobility
Preceded by Duchess of Lorraine
with René I
Succeeded by
John II
Royal titles
Preceded by Queen consort of Naples
Succeeded by
Maria of Castile