Royal of the Month: Blanche of Artois
Blanche of Artois is an important but long-forgotten historical figure.
Born a Princess of France in 1248, Blanche was the daughter of Robert of France, Count of Artois and Matilda of Brabant. Her paternal grandparents were Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, while her uncle was King Louis IX of France. Her father was killed in Egypt during the Seventh Crusade in 1250 and her younger brother, Robert, succeeded him to the countdom of Artois.
In 1269, Blanche was married to Henri I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne. Their only surviving child was a daughter, Jeanne, future Queen of Navarre and France. Henri I of Navrarre died in July 1274 and Blanche ruled as Regent of Navarre and Champagne for her minor daughter.
Soon afterwards a revolt broke out aginst the Regent’s authority and she, with her daughter, fled to France and were offered protection by the King of France.
Blanche herself remarried in February 1276 to an English Prince, Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Leicester and Lancaster and they had three children. Prince Edward was a son of Henry III of England.
In 1284, Jeanne was married to Philippe IV of France, which had been a dying wish of her father. This marriage created a union between the Crowns of Navarre and France, and also ended Blanche’s regency of Navarre.
Blanche of Artois died on May 2nd, 1302 in Paris, and was later buried at the Chapel of the Minoresses Convent of St Clare in Aldgate, London. The Convent, which she founded in 1295, and her fine tomb survived until the Convent was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538.Filed under France, Historical Royals, Spain
Tagged Anniversary, Biography, Blanche of Artois, Death, Navarre.