|Via Wikimedia Commons|
The marriage negotiations even included a meeting between the proposed couple, an unusual practice for the day. Nevertheless, Louis chose a Spanish cousin instead to end the war with Spain. Rejected by France, beautiful, quiet and graceful, Margaret Yolanda still had much to offer and she was soon snapped up by Ranuccio Farnese, the reigning Duke of Parma. The bride was welcomed with bonfires and celebrations. She was 24; he was 29.
Twenty months later, Margaret Yolanda had a stillborn daughter. Eighteen months after that, she died after giving birth to a son who lived only one day. It was her third wedding anniversary. She was 27. Her husband married twice more. He named his first daughter Margaret. Perhaps this was for his mother, Margherita de Medici, but perhaps it was for the beautiful wife he had lost.