Eleanor of Aquitaine, a queen in her own right. She was born in 1122 and married King Louis VII of France when she was only fifteen years old. However, their marriage was annulled as she was unable to giver her husband a son and she married Henry II.
Eleanor had many children, including Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland. She also played a major role in politics, often acting as a mediator between her husband and sons. Eleanor was an incredibly powerful and influential woman, who is still remembered today for her remarkable life.
Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in 1122, the eldest daughter of William X, Duke of Aquitaine and his wife Aenor de Châtellerault. She became Duchess of Aquitaine at the age of 15 when her father died. Shortly after her fathers death she married Louis VII of France, becoming queen consort of France.
The couple had two daughters Marie, Countess of Champagne and Alix, Countess of Blois.
She took up the cross symbolic of the Second Crusade during a sermon preached by Bernard of Clairvaux. In addition, she was in contact with her uncle Raymond, Prince of Antioch, who was seeking further protection from the French crown against the Saracens. Eleanor recruited some of her royal ladies-in-waiting for the campaign as well as 300 non-noble Aquitainian vassals. She insisted on taking part in the Crusades as the feudal leader of her duchy.
Her marriage to Louis VII was not a happy one and was eventually annulled.
Henry II and Eleanor were married in 1152 and went on to have eight children. Henry was not faithful to his wife and had a reputation for philandering. Henry fathered other, illegitimate children throughout the marriage.
Eleanor’s time in Poitiers between 1168 and 1173 was perhaps the most critical, yet very little is known about it. Henry II was elsewhere, attending to his own affairs after escorting Eleanor there. Some believe that Eleanor’s court in Poitiers was the “Court of Love” where Eleanor and her daughter Marie meshed and encouraged the ideas of troubadours, chivalry, and courtly love into a single court. It may have been largely to teach manners, something the French courts would be known for in later generations. Yet the existence and reasons for this court are debated.
After Henry’s death in 1189, Eleanor retired to Chinon Castle in France. She outlived both her husband and her son, King Richard of England, dying in 1204 at the age of 82. She was buried in the Abbey of Fontevraud next to her husband and son.
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Eleanor of Aquitaine" https://englishhistory.net/middle-ages/eleanor-of-aquitaine/, March 7, 2022