Francis III, Duke of Brittany - Duchy of Brittany

Duchy of Brittany

In 1524, the Dauphin inherited the Duchy of Brittany on his mother's death, becoming Duke Francis III, although the Duchy was actually ruled by officials of the French crown. The Duchy was inherited upon the death of Francis by his brother, Henry; upon his succession to the French throne in 1547, the Duchy and the crown were effectively merged, the Breton estates having already tied the succession of the Duchy to the French crown, rather than to the line of succession of the Dukes of Brittany, by vote in 1532.

Portrayals in Fiction

Francis is a figure in the '56 film 'Diane' in which he (incorrectly) briefly becomes King as a grown man and is portrayed as, in the words of Pedro Amendariz' Francis I, 'the popinjay' (ignoring the historical fact that he became more sober in dress and studious in manner, following his captivity under the Spanish- an important fact completely overlooked in the film). The film does however, correctly account for his death (as an adult king, not a teenager as in history)- poisoning at the hand of an Italian courtier, who'd come with his brother's bride, Catherine de' Medici.

Francis is also portrayed as a child, briefly betrothed to Princess Mary - in the Showtime series, 'The Tudors'.

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