Portrait of Margaret of Parma (1522-1586), Duchess consort of Parma and Piacenza (1547-1586), Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567.
Margaret of Parma (Italian: Margherita di Parma; 28 December 1522 – 18 January 1586) was Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567. She was the illegitimate daughter of the then 22-year-old Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst. She was a Duchess of Florence and a Duchess of Parma and Piacenza by marriage. Margaret was brought up in Mechelen, under the supervision of two powerful Spanish and Austrian Habsburg Imperial family relatives, her great-aunt, the Archduchess Margaret of Austria, and her aunt Mary of Austria, who were successive governors of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530 and from 1530 to 1555, respectively. Her early life followed a strict routine set forth by her father, Charles V, who used his daughter as part of his plans to secure his empire.
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