Saturday, 25 February 2023

Medieval Queens in the Family Tree

Some years ago I decided to investigate the family story that one line of the family tree included royalty. The blog post Royalty in the Family describes the hunt to check if this was indeed true. The label, Royal Connections, in my Family Connections blog provides links to some of the posts written on this topic so far.

Going back through time, the stories of our ancestors largely focussed on men but in many cases the women in the family played an important role - not just with involvement with the family but also in ruling the country. 

In royal households, marriage was frequently the opportunity to form stronger relationships between countries or regions. In medieval times daughters of rulers were  promised in marriage to the son of a ruler of another country. In some cases the daughters were very young when these arrangements were made though the actual marriage was delayed until the girl was considered of 'a marriageable age' - much younger than the mariage age today.

As in much history, in the past and also today, the quest for Power was paramount.

Medieval queens in our family tree include:

Matilda of Flanders (1031-1083)

Matilda of Scotland (1080-1118)

Empress Matilda (1102-1167)

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1128-1202)

Isabella of Angoulême (1188-1246)

Eleanor of Provence (1223-1291)

Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290)

Isabella of France (1295-1358)

Philippa of Hainaut (1311-1369)

A number of books have been written about medieval queens.

Alison Weir has written a series of books in the series England's Medieval Queens. The three that include the stories of the queens listed on this page include:

Queens of the Conquest

Queens of the Crusades

Queens of The Age of Chivalry.

She-Wolves by Helen Castor includes chapters on Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Isabella  of France.

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