Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine Marry
The 18th of May 1152 AD
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most remarkable Queens in our long history. Before her marriage to Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy (the future Henry II of England) she had already married Louis VII of France in 1137 when she was just 15, and been divorced from him in 1152 (or rather their marriage was annulled). This was a matter of convenience to Louis, given his wife had cuckolded him when they travelled to the Holy Land together in the Second Crusade, and she had produced just two daughters rather than a much desired son.
A mere six weeks after ending her marriage to Louis Eleanor married Henry in France. Theirs was a tempestuous relationship, for both were powerful personalities, and both brought immense wealth and land holdings to the marriage – Aquitaine, Poitou and Gascony from her side, Normandy and England from his. An 11 year age difference, Henry her junior, cannot have helped either. And both had different priorities – Henry to unite his various lands, Eleanor in a few years to seek the best for the sons the marriage produced. In spite of that she did rule on Henry’s behalf when campaigning required.
In 1173, however, she sided with her sons in a futile rising against their father, and was imprisoned for 15 years for her pains; in 1189 Richard and John with their mother’s support were able to defeat Henry, who died the same year.
More famous dates here
6130 views since 18th May 2009
On this day: