Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Female Abt 1122 - 1204  (~ 82 years)

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  • Name Eleanor of Aquitaine  
    Born Abt 1122  Aquitaine, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 31 Mar 1204  Mirabell Castle, Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4366  avefamily
    Last Modified 23 Nov 2018 

    Family Henry II, King of England,   b. 5 Mar 1133, Le Mans, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1189, Chinon Castle, Anjou, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
     1. Richard I Plantagenet, The Lionheart,   b. 1157,   d. 1199  (Age 42 years)
    +2. John Plantagenet, King of England,   b. 24 Dec 1166, Beaumont Palace, Oxford, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1216, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
    Last Modified 26 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F1336  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Duchess of Aquitaine - She succeeded to Duchy of Aquitaine following the death of her father in 1137. Her guardian, Louis VI king of France, quickly married her to his son the future Louis VII in order to bring the duchy to the direct control of the kings of France.
      Queen consort of France - Following the death of Louis VI, she and her husband were crowned King and Queen of the Franks on Christmas Day 1137. She held this title until her marriage was annulled in 1152.
      Queen consort of England - Her second husband, Henry II of England, succeeded to the throne of England on 25 October 1152. He and Eleanor were crowned King and Queen of England on 19 December 1154.

      Born: Between 1122 and 1124, presumably in Aquitaine, France.
      The exact date and place of her death is not known with certainty. No statements are contemporary.
      Said to have been aged 13 in the spring of 1137.
      Said to have received the fidelity oath of some lords of Aquitaine on the occasion of Eleanor's fourteenth birthday in 1136.
      Said to have been aged 82 at her death in 1204.
      It has been said she was born at Nieul-sur-Autize, Vendée or at Château de Belin, Guyenne or at Palais d’Ombrière, Bordeaux. None of these are confirmed by contemporary documents.
      Marriages and Children

      Married: 1st - Louis VII of France, (future) king of France on 25 July 1137 at the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, France. This marriage was annulled on grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree on 21 March 1152.
      Married: 2nd - Henry II of England, (future) king of England on 18 May 1152 at Bordeaux Cathedral in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France.
      Children of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine:
      Marie of France, Countess of Champagne. Born in 1145. She married Henri I, Count of Palatine of Troyes, Count of Champagneand Brie. She died on 11 March 1198 in Champagne-Ardenne, France.
      Alix of France, Countess of Blois. Born in 1150. She married Thibaut V, Count of Blois, Dunois and Chartres.
      Children of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine:
      William of England. Born 17 August 1153 in Normandy, France. Died about 25 December 1156 at Wallingford Castle in Berkshire, England.
      Henry of England "the Young King", king of England. Born 28 February 1155 at Bermondsey, Surrey England. Crowned joint king of England on 14 June 1170. Died 11 June 1183 at Chateau Martel in Touraine.
      Matilda of England. Born 1156 in London, England.
      Richard of England "Lionheart", King of England. Born 8 September 1157 in Oxford, England. Succeeded as King of England on 6 July 1183. He died 6 April 1199 during a seige at Chalus in Limousin. No issue.
      Geoffrey of England. Born 23 September 1158. In the right of his wife he was the Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. He was killed in a tournament on 19 August 1186 in Paris, France.
      Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile. She married Alphonso VIII, King of Castile.
      Joan of England, Queen of Sicily. Born October 1165 in Angers, France. She married 1st William II le bon, King of Sicily; she married 2nd Raymond VI, Count of Toulese. She died 24 September 1199 in Rouen, France.
      John of England "Lackland", King of England. Born about 27 December 1166 in Oxford, England. He succeeded his brother as King of England on 6 April 1199. He was mortally wounded at the capture of Damietta (now in Egypt) on 6 June 1249.
      Death and Burial of Eleanor of Aquitaine

      Died: 31 March 1204
      Buried: Abbey of Fontevrault [3]
      Eleanor of Aquitaine died on 31 March 1204 and was buried at Fontevrault, the burial place of her second husband, Henry II (d.1189) and son Richard (d.1199). The effigy to the north-west of the group of four in the Fontevrault nave is generally ascribed to the queen on the basis of the crown, bier format and tufa medium, which group it with the Fontevrault effigies of Henry II and Richard I. The original position of the Fontevrualt-Angevin monuments, together with their peregrinations are not recorded, but they were probably located near the abbey high altar. [4]

      Eleanor, the Duchess of Aquitaine is one of -- if not -- the most captivating woman of her day. More powerful and equipped then the tinier kingdoms of France and the Angevin county that Henry II came from .... she had it all.[3]
      Rich beyond belief. Loved by the troubadours. Praised and hated the world over for her girly flirtations and natural beauty. And most definitely respected and reviled for her business and political acumen ... chroniclers tend to lean according to subjective views. Hence, the researcher has to pour through mountains of gossip and scandal surrounding her life to get at the known facts.[3]
      What we do know is that the Duchess was raised in a very refined court. She loved art, poetry, music and fashion. She is also the person who went on to establish certain manners at the dinner table of the French court by introducing table-cloths and hand-washing, in addition to some remodeling for ventilation. But Eleanor was no average lady of a household. She was assertive from go.[3]
      Having acquired the necessary skills in youth, she was very capable of handling her vassals and taking care of a kingdom's administrative affairs. She did not cower in the face of war. But what she could not do was control the wagging tongues and sexism that attempted to negate her power both during her life-time and after her death. And sadly, both of the men she married were just a little too obsessed with taking her inheritance ... not to mention the fact that they both had her arrested.
      Louis ... because he got jealous and felt threatened by another man.[5] And Henry was just a life-long control freak when it came to power.[6] He may have been a great administrator and warrior, but his own family didn't turn on him for no reason.[3]
      In hindsight, Eleanor's story is full of strife. For all her possessions, she barely had a moment's peace. Nevertheless, she was both mother and step-mother to a very powerful brood, who gave birth to the Plantagenet dynasty. Without her, Henry II would not have been been able to rule such a wide territory.[3]


      Footnotes and citations:
      ? Cawley, Medieval Lands: Eleonore d'Aquitaine
      ? Richardson, Royal Ancestry, (2013): vol. I p. 24, 129; vol. III p. 21.
      ? 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Weir, Alison (1998). Eleanor of Aquitaine. eBook.
      ? Duffy. Royal Tombs (2003):57, 60.
      ? 1146 Second Crusade led by Louis VII. Eleanor went and bogged him down with luggage on a military expedition. Ends up being arrested by jealous Louis over her uncle in the Middle East. The witnesses present thought she and her uncle got along too well and the two were flirting ... to say the least. And Eleanor actually tried to stay with him while Louis went on ahead to fight. That's when Louis' advisors convinced him Eleanor was up to no good. So the king had her arrested. You didn't do that to a Queen ... So people took the legal action as a sign that Eleanor was guilty. And she just couldn't live down the rumors that spread like fire. it was even more tragic because historians pretty much agree that Louis loved her to pieces. It was some of his courtiers and members of the clergy that wanted to take her out.
      ? 1174-1189: Henry II put Eleanor on house arrest following family revolt.
      Source list:
      Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013): vol. I p. 24, 129; vol. III p. 21.
      Cawley, Charles. Medieval Lands: A Prosopography of Medieval European Noble and Royal Families, Online at Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Website (accessed December 2016).
      Duffy, Mark. Royal Tombs of Medieval England. (2003):57, 60.
      Wikipedia: Eleanor of Aquitaine
      The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia (1995). Columbia University Press
      Weis, F.L. (1999). Magna Charta Sureties, 1215. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.
      Stevens, W.S. (1971). Our royal ancestors. Lexington: Transylvania Print. Co.
      Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants. Vol I - III