The marriage of Marguerite de Valois to Henri of Navarre in the summer of 1572 was eminently a marriage of convenience. The alliance was a result of the conciliatory policy guided by the bride’s formidable mother, Catherine de Medici, and to many it must have seemed to be finally on the verge of effecting a politique, if not totally amicable, understanding between the Catholics and the Huguenots in France. However, the negotiations for the alliance were tricky, and opinions about its desirability differed greatly. Marguerite’s former attachment to the Duke of Guise was well known; so were her religious beliefs. On 18 August 1572, observers at the Notre Dame noted that Charles IX had to force his reluctant sister’s head forward to indicate her consent to the wedding with the Huguenot Henri. The tension of political machinations, rather than romance, was in the air.