Queen Claude is the wife of King Francis I and Queen Consort of France. She appears as a recurring character in Season One of The Tudors alongside her husband.
Claude makes a brief appearance for three episodes of The Tudors in Season One; she is only mentioned in Season Two. Despite Catherine of Aragon's anti-French attitude, she seems to view Claude in a friendly manner; they are cordial to each other at the Anglo-French summit at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, contrary to the fierce rivalry between their husbands (1.02). Claude is also shown greeting Cardinal Wolsey with her husband and son, when Wolsey comes to France for new alliance negotiations (1.06).
Claude's personality is most thoroughly explored when she and her husband host Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk (1.08). After Francis leaves the room, Claude admits, somewhat bitterly, that he is most likely going to service his 'latest mistress'. The amorous Charles suggests that she have an affair with him as revenge. Claude appears to agree, then suddenly asks how Charles' wife Margaret is. Caught off-guard, Charles is unable to say anything before Claude calls him out on his unfaithful nature, claiming that having sex for revenge can kill the soul.
Claude is more tolerant of her husband's infidelity than Catherine is of Henry's, but this is only because Claude appears to have stopped truly loving Francis a long time ago.
Claude doesn't appear in Season Two, but is mentioned by Francis at the Anglo-French summit in Calais; Francis apologizes for her absence to Henry, as she was initially supposed to formally meet Anne Boleyn as Henry's betrothed. Claude already knew Anne personally; as previously mentioned, Anne was a favored lady-in-waiting to her for several years alongside her sister Mary, during Thomas Boleyn's tenure as Ambassador to France.
Queen Claude was the first wife of Francis I of France, her cousin. Being the Duchess of Brittany and a member of the Royal House of Valois (like her husband) she was the pawn of much dynastic maneuvering in France. She was short in stature and afflicted with scoliosis, which gave her a hunched back. Claude's life was spent in an endless round of annual pregnancies and had 7 children, dying when she was only 24 years old. She was exceptionally pious, reserved, and not considered attractive. Although Francis was unfaithful, he deferred to her gentle and shy personality.
- (To Charles Brandon): "To make love for revenge... what does that do to the soul, hmm? Mais, oui, monsieur... the soul, it grows smaller, non? And sometimes... sometimes it dies."