Albret

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Albret

(älbrā`), former duchy, SW France, in the LandesLandes
, region, SW France. It is a vast, flat, nearly triangular tract of sand and marshland, stretching along the Atlantic coast for more than 100 mi (160 km) between the Adour River and the Médoc region and reaching inland as far as 40 mi (60 km).
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 of Gascony. The powerful lords of Albret became kings of NavarreNavarre
, Span. Navarra , province (1990 pop. 527,318), N Spain, bordering on France, between the W Pyrenees and the Ebro River. Pamplona is the capital. Land and Economy

Navarre province forms the autonomous region of Navarra.
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 by the marriage (1484) of Jean d'Albret with Catherine de Foix, queen of Navarre, who also brought him FoixFoix
, town (1990 pop. 10,466), capital of Ariège dept., S France, on the Ariège River at the foot of the Pyrenees. It is an administrative and tourist center with some small industry.
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 and BéarnBéarn
, former province, SW France, in the Pyrenees. It is now the inland part of Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept. Its valleys are well cultivated, and cattle are bred. Pau replaced Orthez as the capital in the 15th cent.
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. Their son, Henri d'Albret, married (1527) Margaret of Angoulême (Margaret of NavarreMargaret of Navarre
or Margaret of Angoulême
, 1492–1549, queen consort of Navarre; sister of King Francis I of France. After the death of her first husband she married (1527) Henri d'Albret, king of Navarre; their daughter was Jeanne d'Albret.
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). The marriage added ArmagnacArmagnac
, region and former county, SW France, in Gascony, roughly coextensive with Gers dept. Auch is the chief town. Armagnac is famous for the brandy bearing the same name. The counts of Armagnac originated in the 10th cent. as vassals of the dukes of Gascony.
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 to Henri's territories, which now included nearly all of Gascony. In 1550, Albret was raised to a duchy. Henri's daughter and heir, Jeanne d'AlbretJeanne d'Albret
, 1528–72, queen of Navarre (1555–72), daughter of Henri d'Albret and Margaret of Navarre, and mother of King Henry IV of France (Henry III of Navarre). She became queen of Navarre on her father's death.
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, married Antoine de BourbonBourbon, Antoine de
, 1518–62, duc de Vendôme, king of Navarre through his marriage to Jeanne d'Albret; father of Henry IV of France. He converted to Protestantism after his marriage (1548), becoming one of the most influential Huguenot leaders.
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, and their combined territories were inherited by Henry of Navarre, who in 1589 became king of France as Henry IV. Henry added Albret to the royal domain in 1607 as part of the province of Gascony.