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Philippa of Guelders

Philippa of Guelders

Twin sister of Charles, Duke of Guelders; Duchess consort of Lorraine
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Aristocrat
Countries France
Gender female
Birth November 9, 1467 (Grave)
Death February 28, 1547 (Nancy)
Mother: Catharine of Bourbon
Father: AdolfDuke of Guelders
Spouse: René IIDuke of Lorraine
Children: Claude of Lorraineduke of GuiseAntoineDuke of LorraineJeanCardinal of LorraineLouisCount of VaudémontFrancois de Lorraine
Philippa of Guelders
The details

Philippa of Guelders (French: Philippe de Gueldres) (9 November 1467 – 28 February 1547), was a Duchess consort of Lorraine. She served as regent of Lorraine during the absence of her son.
She was the daughter of Adolf of Egmond and Catharine of Bourbon. Philippa was the twin of Charles, Duke of Guelders; they were born at Grave, Netherlands, and were their parents' only children. To strengthen the ties between the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Lorraine, she was chosen as the bride of René II, Duke of Lorraine (1451–1508). The marriage took place in Orléans on 1 September 1485.
After the death of her spouse in 1508, Philippa tried to assume the regency of the duchy in the name of her son Anthony, who was 19 years old, but it was decided that he was old enough to reign alone. However, when Duke Anthony left to serve in the French campaign in Italy in 1509, he appointed his mother Philippa to serve as regent in Lorraine during his absence. Her regency has been regarded as a wise one.
On 13 June 1509 she redeemed the lordship of Mayenne from Margaret of Vaudémont, Duchess of Alençon. She retired to the convent Clarisse to Pont-à-Mousson on 15 December 1519 where she remained until her death. She was still a dominant figure in her family and often visited by her relatives, who treated her with great respect, and she maintained a reputation of piety and popularity with the public.
While at the convent she commanded a magnificent altarpiece for the congregation, it remained there until his death. Her twin brother Charles, Duke of Gelderland, died on 30 June 1538, without legitimate offspring. Philippa claimed the duchies of Gelderland and Jülich but Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, seized the duchies. She ceded the claim to the two duchies to her son Anthony, who added it to his coat of arms.
Philippa died at the Convent of Poor Clares of Pont-à-Mousson on 28 February 1547, aged seventy nine. She outlived nine of her eleven children and was alive at the time of birth of some great-grandchildren, including Mary, Queen of Scots.


Philippa and René had the following children:

  • Charles (b. 17 August 1486, Nancy), d. young
  • Francis (5 July 1487, Pont-à-Mousson) (died shortly after birth)
  • Antoine, Duke of Lorraine (1489–1544)
  • Anne (19 December 1490, Bar-le-Duc – 1491)
  • Nicholas (9 April 1493, Nancy), d. young
  • Isabelle (2 November 1494, Lunéville – bef. 1508)
  • Claude, Duke of Guise (1496–1550), first Duke of Guise
  • John, Cardinal of Lorraine and Bishop of Metz (1498–1550)
  • Louis, Count of Vaudémont (1500–1528)
  • Claude and Catherine (twins) (24 November 1502, Bar-le-Duc), d. young
  • Francis, Count of Lambesc (1506–1525)


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