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Charlotte of Lusignan (1442–1487)

Charlotte of Lusignan (1442–1487)

Queen of Cyprus. Name variations: Carlotta; Charlotte of Cyprus. Born on Cyprus in 1442; died in Rome, Italy, on July 16, 1487; daughter of John II, king of Cyprus (r. 1432–1458), and Helen Paleologina; married Joao de Coimbra also known as John of Portugal (1431–1457); married Louis of Savoy; children: none.

Charlotte of Lusignan was the eldest daughter and heiress of King John II. Although John claimed the title king of Jerusalem, in reality his domain encompassed only the small island of Cyprus off the coast of Jerusalem. Charlotte first married John of Portugal, but after he was murdered she returned to Cyprus in 1457 (some sources claim he was poisoned by his mother-in-law Helen Paleologina ). She then married the French noble Louis of Savoy.

On her father's death, Charlotte became queen of Cyprus in 1458. She ruled alone for several years before her illegitimate half-brother James wrested control of the government from her and established himself as King James II. Forced to flee to Rome for safety, she and her husband then moved to Rhodes, where she began to plot to regain her throne. But James died in 1473, leaving Cyprus in the hands of his widow, the Italian noble Caterina Cornaro . Caterina claimed the regency of Cyprus in the name of her infant son James III and ruled the island kingdom from Italy. Charlotte continued to intrigue for her reinstatement until her death in 1487.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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