In 1560, Francis II was the King of France. His wife, Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland. It looked like France and Scotland were settling down into a formal Personal Union—when Francis died under a year into his reign of an infection brought on by a cold. And so, Mary went back to Scotland, and history as we know it happened.But what if Francis had survived—at least a bit longer? Long enough to produce an heir?Well, perhaps this.An alternate timeline on AlternateHistory.com, A More Personal Union details what Francis's longer reign entails. Needless to say, it's interesting for France...
Historical characters who appear or are referenced in the timeline:
Francis II, King of France: The eldest son of Henri II and Catherine de Medici. Sickly, weak-willed, and easily-led... mostly.
Mary, Queen of Scots: Also Queen Consort and later, Queen Mother of France. Has one child with Francis, a son named Henri after the King's father. Henri is nicknamed "le Cyclope" because he is blind in one eye.
Elizabeth, Queen of England: Once Francis and Mary have a son - who has a very strong claim to the English throne - and it becomes clear that the personal union between France and Scotland will endure, she entertains the idea of getting married and bearing her own heirs more seriously than in our timeline. She decides against it, and comes to accept Henri as her Heir.
Aristocrats Are Evil: While obviously there's something of a mix, the House of Guise seem to be living this trope.
Arranged Marriage: One that's happened before the story begins can be said to kick things off, and many more occur as the story goes on.
Battle Couple: Winifred Shakespeare and Geoffrey de Bourbon are one. Their son is currently being raised at his paternal grand-uncle's estate, while mom and dad go globetrotting on their mercenary business.
Cool Old Guy: Englishman John Foxe departs for the New World at the age of fifty-five, tours the Spanish Empire despite the extraordinary danger (England and Spain are enemies), and reports back on the evils of slavery he's seen, writing a book that he publishes at the age of sixty-three that more or less gives England and France the moral high ground in a future war with slave-holding Spain.
Didn't See That Coming: Without warning, Poland rescinds their non-aggression pact with the Holy Roman Empire and declares war on them.
Egopolis: OTL Panama City becomes this after Ferdinand flees to the New World and makes it his capital.
The Empire: There are several empires (lower-case), but it is Ferdinand's Golden Roman Empire that aspires to be the actual trope, albeit subconsciously.
Exact Words/Loophole Abuse: To encourage migrants to Gloriana Elizabeth I decrees that all who be imprisoned, or bound fast in gaol by debt, or enchained in some other manner, save those who have done murder or treason, [...] shall have their sentences commuted, or their debts forgiven, such that they set foot upon the soil of the New World and dwell there. Notice there is no mention of English prisoners in the decree
Eyepatch of Power: Henri III starts wearing one after assuming his throne, embroidered by his wife with the French lily, Scottish thistle and English rose.
Famous Last Words: "Francois, je vais être avec vous bientôt." ("Francis, I'll be with you soon.") —Mary, Queen of Scots
Genre Savvy: Civil war in Serbia presents an excellent opportunity for the Ottoman Empire to invade, but Suleiman III knows that he will get dogpiled by the Holy Roman Empire and Russia if he tries that, and decides to wait and see what happens.
God Save Us from the Queen!: Catherine, the Queen Dowager of France and Mary, the Queen Consort (and Queen Mother) of France spend the entirety of their regency locked in a rivalry, jockeying for power. The state of the country is secondary in this contest.
Averted by Madeleine, Queen Consort of France and Henri III's wife. She is a Shrinking Violet who would much rather not be involved with politics.
"Hedwig knows all secrets and every dalliance at court, and there is not a man who plant his seed in a maid's garden in Warsaw that she does not know it," says the Danish ambassador. "She cares only for rumor and scandal and gossip."
Ironically, it actually is Constantinople, rather than Istanbul
Just Like Robin Hood: A tremendously twisted version in the Chinese bandit Red Tiger. He takes the reform slogan "The nobles must feed the people" to it's extreme logical conclusion, by murdering and eating nobles. He then relinquishes their estates and property to the peasants.
Kangaroo Court: The Red Tiger skips straight to the death penalty, saying he'll hold a trial later.
KidAnova: Henri Alexandre, the heir to the Valois thrones, is a borderline example. At age 15, he already has an illegitimate daughter.
One Steve Limit: Averted, as is typical among royal and aristocratic families. LampshadedIn-Universe, with Henri III, King of Navarre (who also became Henri IV, King of France in our history), becoming known as "Henri l'Autre", or the other Henry, because of an already reigning Henri III who is King of France.
Only Sane Man: Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor is the only one to see that another Franco-Spanish war will leave everyone vulnerable to Ottoman aggression. He repeatedly smooths over relations and does everything he can to keep peace. Sure enough, as soon as he dies, war breaks out almost immediately.
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Elizabeth of England devised the marriage between Madeleine Stanley and Henri the Cyclops to strengthen Henri's claim to the English throne, nothing more. Henri and Madeleine are happy together anyway, probably thanks to them growing up together.
Pet the Dog: A crew of Japanese sailors trying to circumnavigate the earth are apprehended by the Golden Roman Empire. The fanatically Christian and fanatically racist Ferdinand releases the Shintoist Asians, apologizes for their capture, repairs their ship, and lets them leave with gifts for their Emperor.
Regent for Life: What Catherine was for Francis II. Catherine and Mary were also engaged in a power struggle about who would get to be this to Henri III. Henri defies this by staging a coup and throwing them both out of the court.
Start My Own: Francis II decides to pull a Henri VIII and separates the Gallican Church from Rome.
Superweapon Surprise: The Haudenosaunee/Iroquois have managed to pick up some Western technology from some unfortunate Scottish colonists-to-be they captured, and are now planning to run amuck over all of northwestern North America with their Game Breaker weapons.
The Unfavorite / "Well Done, Son" Guy: Ferdinand of Uceda has been one ever since his older half-brother Carlos died in battle. In the end, with his last words, his father laments Carlos' death, and how much better a king than Ferdinand he would've been.
Unwitting Pawn: Cardinal Charles de Lorraine is quite frequently played by Catherine de Medici.