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Cecilia Renata of Sweden (Blooming Roses)

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Cecilia Renata of Sweden (Blooming Roses)
[[Image:
180px-Cecilia
|210px|alt=|'Duchess of Brittany']]
'Duchess of Brittany'
Duchess Consort of Brittany (more...)
Tenure 13 May 1585 - 5 March 1597
Spouse Francis III of Brittany

m. 1585

Issue Francis IV, Duke of Brittany

Charlotte Christina, Queen of Scotland

House House of Vasa (by birth)

House of Coligny (by marriage)

Father Eric XIV of Sweden
Mother Elizabeth of England
Born 12 June 1558
Kalmar Castle, Sweden
Died 14 July 1616 (aged 58)
Nantes, Brittany
Burial Nantes Cathedral
Religion Lutheran, then Anglican, and finally Calvinism
 

Cecilia Renata (12 June 1558 - 14 July 1616) was a Princess of Sweden by birth. She was the eldest child of Elizabeth of England  and Eric XIV. When she was 10 years old her father was deposed and she was ransomed by her uncle, Edward VI. Through her daughter, she was the maternal grandmother of Isabella, Queen of Scots.

Early Life

Cecilia Renata was born at Kalmar Castle in 1558, the eldest child of Elizabeth of England and Eric XIV of Sweden. Her birth was a largely celebrated event in both Sweden and England, due to popularity of her mother. She was her father's heir until the birth of her younger brother, John. She spent most of her time with her mother and was better educated than her brother. She was betrothed to Sebastian I of Portugal but this betrothal was broken when her cousin Anna was also offered as a wife for the Portuguese king. She was then offered to her cousin Henry of Spain, but these plans failed due to her mother's disapproval and Henry's death. In 1567, her mother died shortly after the birth of her sister Katherine Hedwig. She disliked her sister and blamed her for her mother's death for the year leading up to her father being deposed. After her father was deposed in 1568, she was held hostage with her three younger siblings by her uncle John. She developed depression that became recurrent throughout her life. She was ransomed by her uncle Edward VI of England and lost her place in the Swedish succession. She was then raised alongside her cousins in the English court. Her aunt, who arranged marriages for her own children, struggled to find a suitable marriage for Cecilia. She was no longer a Swedish princess, however, she was too high born to marry into the nobility as she was the daughter of an English princess and still had rights in the English succession. In 1585, the creation of Brittany gave her a place. She was then betrothed to the son of Duke of Brittany as an alliance between the newly created Protestant state and England.  At age 27, she was considered a bit old to be beginning her first marriage.

Duchess of Brittany

In 1585, she traveled to the capital of Brittany, Rennes, to meet her future husband. They married soon after and she was created Duchess of Brittany. She and her husband found common ground through their Protestant faith, although they didn't have much else in common. Years in captivity and recurring depression kept Cecilia Renata inside most times, while her husband enjoyed being outdoors and was often vibrant. She performed ceremonial duties at court, presiding over nobles beside her husband. She held influence over him, using her intellect and prudence that she inherited from her mother to maintain Brittany's independence from Catholic France.  When her cousin Jane Margaret and her husband Henry of Navarre became King and Queen of France she began focusing on a marriage for her daughter Charlotte Christina. She originally wanted a Portuguese marriage, but her husband was intent on a Scottish marriage. She eventually conceded, and Charlotte Christina married James VII of Scotland. Their daughter, Isabella Mary, was the last Stuart monarch and married her cousin Alexander III of England.

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