Philippa Rose of England
Duchess of Anjou (more...)
Tenure 13 October 1575 - 19 February 1579
Spouse Francis, Duke of Anjou

m. October 1575

Issue Francis, Duke of Berry

Rene, Count of Perche
Isabelle Sophie, Queen of Portugal

House House of Tudor (by birth)

House of Valois (by marriage)

Father Edward VI of England
Mother Isabella of Cleves
Born 27 September 1562
Hever Castle, England
Died 19 February 1579 (aged 16)
Normandy, France
Burial Saint Denis Basilica
Religion Anglican

Philippa Rose (27 September 1562 - 19 or 20 February 1579) was the fourth eldest daughter of Edward VI of England and Isabella of Cleves. She was married to Francis, Duke of Anjou when he joined Protestant forces in 1575. Her mother-in-law, Catherine de' Medici ordered her to be murdered in 1579 due to her disapproval of her son's marriage. The pregnant 16 year old princess and her three children that had been born on campaign were all strangled to death.

Early Life

Philippa Rose was born on 27 September 1562, in Hever Castle. Her unusual birthplace was due to her mother leaving court after discovering that he had a mistress. Philippa was raised alongside her older sisters Jane, Anna, and Constance. She and Constance were very competitive with one another due to the fact that they were only eleven months apart. Philippa tended to shun Constance, following the example of her elder sister Jane. Philippa was closest to Jane and was distraught when she left England to marry Henry of Navarre.


When Philippa was 13, she was married to the Duke of Alencon to keep him allied to the Protestant forces. Against her mother's wishes, the marriage was immediately consummated to provide a Protestant French heir to the throne. She was delighted with her 20 year old husband, and he was equally enchanted. She remained on campaign with her husband and the Huguenots. She delievered all three of her children on the battlefield. She was happy to be reunited with her sister Jane, who was also on campaign with her husband Henry. 


Francis and Philippa were becoming a major threat to Catholic France. Henry III of France and his wife were unable to have children and Francis was his brother's heir. Philippa had given birth to two healthy sons and a daughter, and was pregnant again in 1579. Catherine de' Medici wanted to ensure that a Catholic succeded the throne and offered Francis and his wife more land if they rejoined the Catholic fold. Francis refused at the urging of Philippa, enraging Catherine. Catherine ordered that Philippa and her children be killed by any mean necessary. While Francis and his men were off fighting, the camp was raided. Philippa, who was six months pregnant, could not flee on her horse and she, along with her young children, were all strangled to death. Francis discovered them upon his return, and officially converted to Calvinism. He never remarried,and was killed in 1580 after murdering his brother. Had she and her children lived, she may have become Queen of France or her son Francis would have succeeded his uncle. Henry of Navarre would not have succeeded the French throne and France would not have been broken into France, Brittany, and Aquitaine.

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