|Henry II, King of France (1519 - 1559)|
|Henry II armour|
Montgomery hurried to kneel before the king and asked to have his head and hand cut off in punishment, but Henry magnanimously told him that it was not his fault and he had carried himself bravely and well. The royal doctors removed the splinter from the king’s eye and others that had pierced his head and throat and bled the patient who relapsed into unconsciousness. It was hoped that the loss of the eye was the worst that would happen, but even though the royal surgeon, Ambroise Paré, was joined by another celebrated medical man, Andreas Vesalius, sent from Brussels by King Philip of Spain, Henry’s condition grew worse.
Catherine took command, kept watch by her husband’s bedside and refused to allow Diane de Poitiers into the room. On July 9th the last rites were administered and the king died early in the afternoon of the following day. He was 40 years old.
|Henry's death mask|
|Diane de Poitiers, painting by Francois Clouet|