Today in History
Henry of Navarre is crowned as Henry IV of France on February 27, 1594, ending an ordeal that began when Henry III was assassinated by a crazed monk.
Initially, he was opposed by the Catholic League (for the obvious reason that he was a Protestant). While he was confined to the south of France, he was aided by his Protestant ally, Queen Elizabeth I. Meanwhile, his Catholic uncle was proclaimed King of France, which didn’t bother Henry too much, because he had his uncle taken prisoner and, in any event, the old man died. The League then pushed a series of Spanish candidates, which made the people of France suspicious that they were being duped by the League.
Eventually, Henry renounced his Protestantism — allegedly saying Paris vaut bien une messe (“Paris is well worth a mass”) — and earned the support of the vast majority of his subjects and, thus, leading to his coronation.
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