Marie d'Albret, Countess of Rethel

Marie d'Albret
suo jure Countess of Rethel
Countess of Nevers
Duchess of Nevers

Coat-of-arms of Marie d'Albret
Spouse(s) Charles II of Cleves, Count of Nevers


Francis I of Cleves, 1st Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel (2 September 1516- 13 February 1561)
Noble family Albret
Father Jean d'Albret, Sire of Orval
Mother Charlotte of Nevers, Countess of Rethel
Born 25 March 1491
Chateau de Cuffy, Cher, France
Died 27 October 1549 (aged 58)
Hotel de Nevers, Paris, France

Marie d'Albret, Countess of Rethel, Countess of Nevers (25 March 1491[1] – 27 October 1549) was the suo jure Countess of Rethel, a title which she inherited at the age of nine upon the death of her mother, Charlotte of Nevers, Sovereign Countess of Rethel, on 23 August 1500. She was the wife of Charles II of Cleves, Count of Nevers.


Marie was born in the Chateau de Cuffy, France on 25 March 1491, the eldest child of Jean d'Albret, Sire of Orval, Governor of Champagne (died 10 May 1524), and Charlotte of Nevers, Countess of Rethel (1472- 23 August 1500). She had two younger sisters, Charlotte d'Albret, wife of Odet de Foix, Count of Comminges; and Hélène d'Albret (16 July 1495- 28 October 1519). She had two illegitimate half-siblings, Jacques d'Albret, Bishop of Nevers, and Françoise d'Albret, Abbess of Notre Dame de Nevers.

Her paternal grandparents were Arnaud Amanieu d'Albret, Sire d'Orval (died 1463) and Isabelle de La Tour d'Auvergne (died 8 September 1488), daughter of Bertrand V de La Tour, Count of Auvergne and Boulogne and Jacquette du Peschin. Her maternal grandparents were John II, Count of Nevers, Count of Rethel and Pauline de Bosse-Bretagne. Marie's paternal great-great-grandfather was Charles d'Albret, Constable of France, who was killed while commanding the French troops at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Marie became the sovereign Countess of Rethel at the age of nine upon the death of her mother, Charlotte, at the Chateau de Meillan-en-Berry, who had herself held the suo jure title.


On 25 January 1504, Marie married her cousin, Charles II of Cleves, Count of Nevers (died 17 August 1521), the son of Engelbert, Count of Nevers and Charlotte of Bourbon-Vendôme. Upon her marriage she became the Countess of Nevers. Together Charles and Marie had a son:[2]

Marie became a widow in 1521. In 1539, she took the title of Duchess of Nevers, although in point of fact, her son Francis was the suo jure duke.

On 27 October 1549 Marie died at the Hotel de Nevers in Paris at the age of fifty-eight. Her son Francis succeeded her as Count of Rethel.

Marie d'Albret had many illustrious descendants including Eleanor Gonzaga, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, King Louis XVI of France and the latter's consort Marie Antoinette.



  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands', Gascony, Dukes and Nobility
  2. Person page-4300
  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Gascony, Dukes and Nobility
  2. Person Page-4300
Preceded by
Charlotte of Nevers
Countess of Rethel
1500- 1549
Succeeded by
Francis I of Cleves
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