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Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche


Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche

Charlotte de Bourbon
Janus (left) and Charlotte (right)
Queen consort of Cyprus; Titular Queen consort of Armenia and Jerusalem
Tenure 25 August 1411 – 15 January 1422
Spouse King Janus of Cyprus
Jacques de Lusignan
John II of Cyprus
Unnamed twins
Anne de Lusignan
Marie de Lusignan
House House of Bourbon
Father John I, Count of La Marche
Mother Catherine of Vendôme
Born 1388
Died 15 January 1422 (aged 34)
Nicosia, Cyprus
Burial Royal Monastery of Saint Dominic's, Nicosia

Charlotte de Bourbon (1388 – 15 January 1422) was the Queen consort of Cyprus and titular Queen consort of Armenia and Jerusalem through her marriage to King Janus of Cyprus. She was his second wife and the mother of his six legitimate children, which included King John II and Anne de Lusignan. It was Charlotte's influence which was instrumental in the revival of French culture at the royal court in Nicosia.[1]


Charlotte was born in France in 1388, one of the seven children of John I, Count of La Marche and Catherine de Vendôme. She had three brothers and three sisters. These were: James II, Count of La Marche, Louis, Count of Vendôme, Jean de Bourbon, Seigneur de Carency and de Duisant, Anne, Countess of Montpensier, Marie de Bourbon, Dame de Bréhencourt, and Isabelle de Bourbon. She also had an illegitimate half-brother by her father's relationship with a mistress.

Charlotte's paternal grandparents were James I, Count of La Marche and Jeanne de Châtillon, and her maternal grandparents were Jean VI, Count of Vendôme and Jeanne of Ponthieu.[2]

Marriage and issue

On 25 August 1411, at Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Nicosia, Cyprus, Charlotte married as his second wife, King Janus of Cyprus and Armenia and titular King of Jerusalem. He was the son of King James I of Cyprus and Helvis of Brunswick-Grubenhagen. Janus and Charlotte had been married by proxy on 2 August 1409 in Melun, France. A document dated 10 January 1409 (Old Style) (which was actually 19 January 1410 New Style), records the arrangements for Charlotte's voyage from Venice to Cyprus.[3] The chronicle of Amadi records the arrival in Cyprus of damisella Carlotta de Borbon, moglie de re Zegno and her marriage on 25 August 1411.[4] Charlotte's lavish retinue which accompanied her to Cyprus included many musicians.

Janus was a member of the prominent and extensive Lusignan dynasty, which was also his family name. He had divorced his first wife, Anglesia Visconti several years earlier, and that marriage had not produced any children.

The marriage of Janus and Charlotte was described as a "cornerstone in the revitalisation of French culture in the Lusignan court that characterised Janus's rule".[5] Following her marriage, she immediately established a socièté courtoise at the royal court at Nicosia, where French literature and music flourished.

Together Janus and Charlotte had six children:

  • Jacques de Lusignan (died c. 1416)
  • King John II of Cyprus and Armenia and titular King of Jerusalem (16 May 1414 – 28 July 1458), he was also titular Prince of Antioch. He married firstly Amadea of Montferrat; he married secondly Helena Palaiologina, by whom he had two daughters including Queen Charlotte of Cyprus. By his Greek mistress Marietta de Patras, he had an illegitimate son Jacques, who later reigned as King James II of Cyprus.
  • Unnamed twin (born 7 November 1415), died in early infancy.
  • Unnamed twin (born 7 November 1415), died in early infancy.
  • Anne de Lusignan (24 September 1418 – 11 November 1462), married Louis, Duke of Savoy, by whom she had nineteen children.
  • Marie de Lusignan (died after 29 April 1437), betrothed to Philippe de Bourbon, Lord of Beaujeu, but she died before the marriage took place.

King Janus had three illegitimate children by an unnamed mistress.

Charlotte died on 15 January 1422 of the plague. She was buried in the Royal Monastery of Saint Dominic's in Nicosia. Her many descendants included Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, Queen Jeanne III of Navarre; French Kings Charles VIII, Francis I, Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX, Henry III, Henry IV and the subsequent Bourbon kings; Anne of France, and Mary, Queen of Scots. She is also an ancestress of the current British Royal Family.



  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Kings of Cyprus
  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Maine
Royal titles
Preceded by
Anglesia Visconti
Queen consort of Cyprus
Succeeded by
Amadea Palaiologina of Monferrato
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