Born in Florence in 1519, Caterina was the daughter of Lorenzo II de’ Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d’Auvergne, making her the great grand-granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent. She was sent to France at the age of fourteen by her uncle Pope Clement VII to marry Henry II, Duke of Orléans, the future king of France who reigned from 1547-59. She subsequently became regent of France and one of the most influential personalities of the Catholic-Huguenot wars. Three of her sons were kings of France: Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III, greatly assisted by Caterina as they were either too frail or too young to govern. In 1572, Caterina married her second daughter, Margot, to the Protestant Henry of Navarre, prompting a bloody revolt by Catholics who killed thousands of Protestants who had come to attend the wedding in a series of violent clashes known as the massacre of San Bartolomeo. She died in Blois, France, in 1589 at the age of 69, and her name is still linked to the religious wars.