February 13, 1457 – March 27, 1482: Age 25
When her father died suddenly in 1477, Mary of Burgundy became the Duchess of a huge and immensely rich slice of Europe. She was his only child.
Louis of France was beside himself with desire to acquire her estates, in particular the free county of Burgundy, which was not subject to direct French rule. He attempted to negotiate a marriage between her and his son, Charles. She declined, but since he was preparing to use an army to back up his wooing, she turned to her Netherlands subjects for help. They in turn extracted from her certain political rights, which she granted.
She decided to marry the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, a young man with enough power and money to help her oppose the French king's designs. They had three children, one of whom died the year he was born. The other two were still infants and Mary only 25 when she met her own end: she was falconing with her husband; her horse tripped and landed on top of her, breaking her back. She died several days later.