This US state is named after an "unpopular" English queen, Henrietta Maria

Anita Durairaj
Queen Henrietta Maria; portrait by Anthony van DyckPhoto byRoyal Collection ; Public Domain Image

Queen Henrietta Maria (1609 - 1661) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland. She was the wife and queen consort to King Charles I (1600 - 1649). She was also the mother of two kings of England, Charles II, and James II.

Henrietta was born a French princess. She was the daughter of King Henry IV of France. She was a Roman Catholic and a member of the French House of Bourbon.

When she was 15 years old, Henrietta got married to Charles I of England. The marriage was arranged and thought to be suitable as Charles I was looking for a bride at the time.

Henrietta was an unpopular English queen primarily because she was a practicing Roman Catholic. She alienated many of her own subjects in the English court.

However, she became known for being more than just a Catholic queen. A recent article in Atlas Obscura names Henrietta, the "Warrior Queen" because she became heavily involved in the English Civil War.

The conflict in the English Civil War was between the Royalists and the Parliamentarian factions. The Royalists were the supporters of the king while the Parliamentarians were against the king and supported the Parliament of England.

Henrietta is believed to have advised her husband during the Civil War. She also helped raise money and help for Charles I from other European governments and kingdoms.

When matters became worse in the war, she fled to France in 1644. She never saw her husband again. He was executed by Parliament in 1649. Henrietta herself died in 1669 after being exiled away from England.

Today, the state of Maryland honors Henrietta. Maryland is derived from Henrietta's middle name "Maria." After all, it was Henrietta's husband, Charles I who signed the 1632 Charter of Maryland which enabled Roman Catholics to live free of restrictions in the state at the time.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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