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lexi4 02-17-2008 05:12 PM

Henry II (1133-1189) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)
 
Eleanor of Aquitaine has always fascinated me. My interest in her developed after watching A Lion in Winter. I have read several book about her and discovered her to be an amazing woman. Her husband, Henry, was notorious for having affairs and it was rumored that Eleanor did as well.
Here are a few tidbits about her:

- She outlived all but two of her children and they were King John of England and Queen Eleanor of Castile.

- She had eight children with Henry: William (died young), Henry, Matilda,Richard, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joanna, and John.

-She had a younger sister, Petronella, with whom she was close.

- After Eleanor of Aquitaine discovered the love affair of her husband, Henry II, with Rosamund and went to France to confront her former husband, King Louis, her husband Henry II intercepted her plan, made her prisoner, and sent her to England to be kept at Winchester. She remained prisoner until Henry II died and then Richard gave her her freedom. He then made her Regent of England while went on crusade. She was Regent from 1189 until 1199.

- She was queen to two kings

Russophile 02-19-2008 08:19 PM

Oh Lex! I have "Elanor of Aquitane and the 4 (I think it is!) Kings" and I have started it and started it and haven't finished!!
I think The Lion in Winter is incredibly fun! Loved it!
Didn't she have lots of daughters with King Louis and this is why he divorced her?

lilytornado 02-19-2008 09:38 PM

Oh, no I think SHE wanted to divorce him. I think I read that Loius actually liked her. I think they said that they are too closely related (not really close, but any proven relation was enough to annull in those days) and giving them only daughters was god's way of showing them. Louis was really religious.

lexi4 02-20-2008 11:37 AM

I think that is correct. And then she got with Henry and had a mess of sons. That woman was amazing.

ladybelline 02-20-2008 12:39 PM

She's one of my favorite Queens as well. :flowers: A woman with a very strong personnality, in times where women were not really considered...

She had two daughters, Marie and Alix, with her first husband, King Louis VII of France.

There are many reasons behind their separation : Eleanor's supposed infidelity during the Second Crusade, many arguments between her and Louis (she apparently even said of him "Louis is more a monk than a King":rolleyes:)
She married Henry only six weeks after the marriage's annulation!

Russophile 02-20-2008 01:17 PM

Wasn't Henry younger than her? Or am I thinking Tudor instead of Plantangent?

ladybelline 02-20-2008 01:26 PM

Henry was 10/12 years younger than Eleanor. (But you're also right, Henry VIII Tudor was six years younger than first wife Katherine of Aragon...)

lexi4 02-20-2008 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladybelline (Post 732188)
She's one of my favorite Queens as well. :flowers: A woman with a very strong personnality, in times where women were not really considered...

She had two daughters, Marie and Alix, with her first husband, King Louis VII of France.

There are many reasons behind their separation : Eleanor's supposed infidelity during the Second Crusade, many arguments between her and Louis (she apparently even said of him "Louis is more a monk than a King":rolleyes:)
She married Henry only six weeks after the marriage's annulation!

Agreed. The woman had spunk! And how many can say the "ruled" over two kingdoms. She even got one of her sons to lead a war against her husband! Now that took some guts.

ladybelline 02-21-2008 01:39 PM

There are no portraits of Eleanor, only her representation on her tomb in Fontevraud Abbey, in France:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...d_Henri_II.jpg

Henry is buried at her side. Their son King Richard the "Lionheart" is there as well.

Edit: I was wrong! there's a representation of Eleanor and her son King John
in a monastery in Poitiers, France:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...sans_terre.jpg

Ithil 03-07-2008 01:13 AM

I totally agree that Eleanor of Aquitaine was a very amazing and fascinating woman!

PssMarie-Elisabeth 04-28-2008 10:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Eleanor Of Aquitaine,queen of Henry II

CarolinaLandgrave 11-18-2008 07:56 PM

She was a fascinating, vibrant, spitfire of a Lady - ie, a Queen.
Ive read and heard some really great things about her life and her character - very strong for a woman in the Middle Ages.

And I have to agree with Russophile - 'A Lion in Winter' is a great movie. Katherine Hepburn is the only person who could ever be Eleanor!

georgiea 12-01-2008 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarolinaLandgrave (Post 855298)
She was a fascinating, vibrant, spitfire of a Lady - ie, a Queen.
Ive read and heard some really great things about her life and her character - very strong for a woman in the Middle Ages.

And I have to agree with Russophile - 'A Lion in Winter' is a great movie. Katherine Hepburn is the only person who could ever be Eleanor!

Eleanor was also a very beautiful woman.
He father made sure she was well educated for a woman in the Middle Ages.
I only know of two books written about her in recent years. :smile:

Russophile 12-01-2008 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by georgiea (Post 861092)
Eleanor was also a very beatiful woman.
He father made sure she was well educated for a woman in the Middle Ages.
I only know of two books written about her in recent years. :smile:

Isnt one of them on the Book of the mOnth club, if so, I've got it! :biggrin:

scooter 12-01-2008 08:31 PM

I love her story. She took no BS from anyone.

Jo of Palatine 12-02-2008 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooter (Post 861477)
I love her story. She took no BS from anyone.

And I bet she was prudent enough to take the things she had to take and couldn't do anything about in good grace.

georgiea 12-02-2008 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 861676)
And I bet she was prudent enough to take the things she had to take and couldn't do anything about in good grace.

After her battle for power with her sons over the King's throne. Eleanor of Aquitaine was imprision for many years by her husband the King. I think she must have been a very healthy indivudal because she lived through the imprisionment and her own husband's death. Her son let her go from prision.

I think one of the books I read was written by Alison Wier.:smile:

Amy 12-02-2008 09:24 AM

There are a few good books on Eleanor, i have read the books by Desmond Seward and Douglas Boyd. And i am currently reading the one by Marion Meade. There are also books written by Amy Kelly, D.D.R Owen and Alison Weir.

Russophile 12-02-2008 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine (Post 861676)
And I bet she was prudent enough to take the things she had to take and couldn't do anything about in good grace.

I wonder if Elizabeth I took lessons. . . .:rolleyes:

Vecchiolarry 12-02-2008 07:52 PM

Hi,

Amazingly, she ensured her linage would continue in France, even after her divorce, by arranging the marriage of her granddaughter, Bianca of Castile, to her former husband's grandson, Louis VIII.
At the age of 80, she crossed the Pyranees and fetched Bianca herself and escorted her to Paris.
Bianca is known to history now as Blanche, mother of Louis IX or Saint Louis of France...

Larry

Velasco 12-02-2008 07:54 PM

I think she is fascinating because she was the richest woman of her time, and ruled over a principality larger than the lands of the King of France. She was Duchess of Aquitaine and Gascony and was overlord over much of southern and central France, all the way down to the Pyrenees.

She was married to the Dauphin Louis, who was to inherit the title of King of France, at that time a pretty empty honour since the King of Frane was the weakest of all French princes, ruling over a tiny principality stretching from Paris to Orleans and the surroundings, and bullied by his much more powerful subjects (Aquitaine, Blois, Champagne, Brittany, Anjou, Normandy).

During her marriage, she had an affair with Geoffrey "Plantagenet", Count of Anjou and Maine, who was married to the insufferable Empress Matilda. For those of you who don't know, her future husband Henry was the eldest of Geoffrey and Matilda's three sons:whistling:

Her marriage to Henry was a big scandal and huge risk at the time - not only because it happened so soon after the end of her first marriage, but because of her prior affair with his father and the secrecy of it, neither of them requested the King of France's permission which was necessary since he was their overlord.

If I'm not mistaken, there had previously been negotiations for a betrothal and future marriage between Henry and one of her daughters, but it had not been permitted because of the fact that they were related in the forbidden degrees (at the time, the Roman Catholic church did not allow marriages up to the fourth degree). Her marriage to Louis was also annulled on the premise that they were related in the forbidden degrees. So she had alot of cheek to marry Henry, and also she majorly paid Louis back for years of unhappy marriage by marrying his most powerful vassal and chief enemy.

And to show how they really did like to keep things in the family, just before her marriage to Henry, when she was riding south for the marriage, one of his brothers (can't remember which one) apparently tried to ambush her, desiring to abduct and rape/marry her, which was something that every heiress ran the risk of back in those days. My memory is shady, but I think that Theobald, Count of Champagne, who later married one of her daughters, also tried to abduct and marry her.

To add insult to injury, she got pregnant soon after her marriage and gave Henry a whole bunch of sons :biggrin: Having only given Louis two daughters in many years of marriage (which was terrible, since he had married her to get his hands on her huge inheritance ,but with no sons, her inheritance would pass to her daughters and thus outside of the French royal house).

Her eldest son, Henry, had a special distinction for being the only British royal heir to be crowned King during his father's lifetime, to ensure succession, etc. It was a French custom and I believe she was the one responsible for introducing it to England. Unfortunately Henry "the Young King" was a complete pain in the ass; he married Louis' daughter (by another wife) and generally annoyed both of his parents until he died.

Two of her other sons, Richard and John, became Kings of England. Another son, Geoffrey, ruled the semi-independent principality of Brittany in France. Her daughter Eleonor became Queen of Castille and was meant to become Duchess of Gascony in her own right (yes, all of Gascony was promised as her dowry but it was never paid).

I only wish that John had married Alice de Maurienne, the heiress of Savoy and Piemont. Her father, Count Humbert, had no sons, only daughters; Alice was sent to King Henry's court to be raised and in time marry John "Lackland" (who had no inheritance), with the intention that John should eventually inheriy Savoy and Piemonte and thus extend the Angevin Empire across the Alps. Unfortunately, she died before the marriage could take place; if I'm not mistaken there were rumours that his father had taken her as a mistress also.

Imagine that...if John had gone off to rule Savoy and Piemonte, then King Richard would either have had to make his bastard son, Philip of Cognac, his heir, or recognise his nephew, Arthur, Duke of Brittany, as the heir to the throne. A dynasty called Cognac would have been interesting. But my real desire would be for an even greater Angevin empire than the historical one, encompassing all of England, parts of Ireland, Normandy, Anjou-Maine, Brittany, Aquitaine and Gascony. Without a doubt the feisty and ambitious young Arthur would have made one hell of a King, crushed the French and established the Angevin dynasty (and thus, England) as the leading power in western Europe during the Middle Ages, especially with his uncle ruling rather sizeable lands of Savoy and Piemonte, poised perfectly to make a two-pronged attack into the French royal demesne. And also controlling important passage from Italy and central/eastern Europe into south France (the Angevin Empire).

*sighs*

Amy 12-03-2008 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velasco (Post 862095)
During her marriage, she had an affair with Geoffrey "Plantagenet", Count of Anjou and Maine, who was married to the insufferable Empress Matilda. For those of you who don't know, her future husband Henry was the eldest of Geoffrey and Matilda's three sons:whistling:

If I'm not mistaken, there had previously been negotiations for a betrothal and future marriage between Henry and one of her daughters

There is no evidence to suggest that an affair actually took place, other rumours like this seem to be the medieval version of tabloid gossip stirred up by the people who were none too fond of Eleanor.

The marriage was proposed by Geoffrey between Henry and Marie, in the hope that all or part of Aquitaine would be provided as Marie's dowry.

Velasco 12-03-2008 09:27 AM

Hmm....I will try and look up, I have a bio on her but its been a while since I read it.
Will post interesting excerpts when I have the time :D

One thing that is definitely fact, and not rumour, is that Eleanor's son Richard and Louis' son Philip Augustus were very good friends for a while, so much so, that they shared a bed.
Considering their parents were all cousins and their mother and father had once been married, and they had two half-sisters in common...
And to add to that, Philip Augustus' sister was betrothed (ie, promised to marry in future) to Richard, so they were also brothers-in-law-to-be, but the poor princess was kept from Richard by his father King Henry II, who made her his mistress (to widespsread shock and the dismay of his wife, Eleanor) and had at least one child by her.

Worse than the Habsburgs, these lot!

shakhim 12-03-2008 09:31 AM

she got richard as a baby and in british history got richard as a king of england that was henry his father .

Velasco 12-03-2008 10:13 AM

Shakhim, I don't quite understand your post...what do you mean?
--------------------------------------------------------------

From "Eleanor of Aquitaine, By the Wrath of God, Queen of England" by Alison Weir; from the end of page 53 to the start of page 55.
Suger was still concerned about the risk of Louis leaving his kingdom without a male heir, and both he and the King were perturbed by the ambition of Count Geoffrey of Anjou. In 1144, after a three-year campaign, Geoffrey had conquered Normandy, and Louis, as its overlord, had confirmed him as its duke. Geoffrey was politically astute. Five years earlier, his wife Matilda had unsuccessfully prosecuted her claim to the English throne, which had been usurped by her cousin, Stephen of Blois. Geoffrey had not embroiled himself in that war, since his ambitions were focused on the continent, and he now sought to extend his influence to France itself; he had been appointed seneschal of Poitou by Louis. He therefore proposed to the King that his son Henry, then aged thirteen, marry Louis' infant daughter Marie. The Salic Law prevented Marie's accession, but it is possible that Geoffrey felt himself powerful enough to circumvent th the event of the King dying whilst on crusade. Although Henry of Anjou was undoubtedly a suitable match for his daughter, Louis prevaricated. Then Geoffrey began to put pressure on him.

While Louis was considering the proposal, Bernard of Clairvaux got to hear of it, and wrote at once to the King to express his disapproval:
I have heard that the Count of Anjou is pressing to bind you under oath respecting the proposed marriage between his son and your daughter. This is something not merely inadvisable but also unlawful, because apart from other reasons, it is barred by the impediment of consanguinity. I have learned on trustworthy evidence that the mothers of the Queen and this boy are related in the third degree. Have nothing whatsoever to do with the matter.
Armed with Bernard's letter, Louis turned down Geoffrey's proposal, and the matter was dropped.

It was lated asserted by Giraldus Cambrensis, in his De Principis Instructione, that 'Count Geoffrey of Anjou, when he was Seneschal of France [sic], had carnally known Queen Eleanor' and that the Count later confesses this to his son. It is not known exactly when Geoffrey was seneschal of Poitou (not of France, as Giraldus asserts), but it was probably during the years before the crusade; his tenure of the office appears to have ceased some time before 1151. He was an extremely handsome man trapped in a tempestous marriage, and several bastards testified to his extra-marital affairs.

After Louis confirmed him as Duke of Normandy, Geoffrey was on friendly terms with the King, but their relations may have cooled when Geoffrey declined to accompany the crusade in order to protect his own interests in Normandy. As Geoffrey's half-brother Baldwin as King of Jerusalem, Louis may have felt that the Count was ducking both his spiritual and familial obligations.

Giraldus claimed that he had heard about Eleanor's adultery with Geoffrey from the saintly Bishop Hugh of Lincoln, who had learned of it from Henry II of England, Geoffrey's son and Eleanor's second husband. Eleanor was estranged from Henry at the time Giraldus was writing, and the King was trying to secure an anullment of their marriage from the Pope. It would have been to his advantage to decalre her an adulterous wife who had had carnal relations with his father, for that in itself would have rendered their marriage incestous and would have provided prima-facie grounds for its dissolution. Indeed, the grounds on which Henry sought an anullment were shrouded in secrecy, which may in itself have been significant. It seems likely that he alleged consanguinity, which could have embraced either his genetic affinity with Eleanor or her possible affair with his father. The incestous nature of such a connection would alone have ensured confidentiality.

It is unlikely that Henry would have lied about the affair to the respected Bishop Hugh, who would surely have protested at being named as the source for such a calumny if it were untrue.

It has beeen stated, with some truth, that at the time he was writing, Giraldus was antagonistic towards Henry II for blocking his election to the See of St David's; his text is hostile and sometimes scathing. Even so, it is hardly likely that he would have written something so prejudicial to the King's honour and the legitimacy of his heirs without reliable evidence. It is true that Giraldus did not like or approve of Eleanor, but it is also fair to say that he must have had some grounds for his disapproval, very probably Eleanor's own conduct.

On balance, therefore, it seems likely that she did indeed have an affair with Count Geoffrey, whcih they managed to keep secret from Louis and the rest of the world. It probably happened on impulse and was of brief duration, and it may have flourished during one of the Queen's visits to Poitou, possibly the one she made in the autumn of 1146. By then, it is likely that she may have been having doubts about the validity of her marriage.

After Giraldus wrote his account, discretion appears to have been maintained. Walter Map, a trusted royal secretary, justice and confidant, would say only the Queen ' was secretly reputed to have shared the couch of Louis with Geoffrey'. It was for this reason that Map and others believed the offspring of Henry and Eleanor were 'tainted at the source'. How, Giraldus asked, could happy issue stem from such a union?"

Vasillisos Markos 09-20-2009 10:35 PM

Consider that Eleanor lived to her eighties and continued to travel great distances. What a fascinating woman! She went on a crusade, disposed of one husband after producing two daughters, married another much younger man, produced several sons and daughters, and then outlived all but two of her children. She was Queen of both France and England and perhaps the single greatest landholder in her own right at that time.

Eleanor overcame great obstacles, including imprisonment by her husband, to see her beloved son Richard take the throne, then she ruled in his stead while he was off on a crusade. What has always amazed me is, despite her prominence in both France and England and her longevity, why are there only two representations of her? A tapestry and her tomb effigy are all that serve to show how Eleanor might have appeared.

Russophile 09-23-2009 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos (Post 994213)
What has always amazed me is, despite her prominence in both France and England and her longevity, why are there only two representations of her? A tapestry and her tomb effigy are all that serve to show how Eleanor might have appeared.

Possibly because she WAS a woman. And a very capable one as well. Probably freaked the crap outta the men folks so they thought it better to let sleeping dogs lie and not give women folk any radical ideas. . . .:biggrin:

Vasillisos Markos 09-27-2009 11:28 AM

You may be right. Several years ago I visited the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago when it put on an exhibit dedicated to Cleopatra. One section was devoted to how the world perceived her, from her contemporaries down through the ages to Hollywood's treatment on screen and television. One opinion which sticks with me was the view by several historians that she was demonized and vilified by Rome in order to justify their conquest of Egypt as well as to denigrate her merely because she was a woman.

Russophile 09-30-2009 07:30 PM

Indeed! She was fluent in what? 7 languages? Held her country together, worshipped with them and gave them pagentry, not unlike Eleanor. And they villify them. Shame, really.

Melisende 04-26-2010 08:18 AM

Re: Cleopatra being demonised by later historians:
As was Hatshepshut - no images of her though she was one of Egypt's most remarkable rulers.

Quote:

"Giraldus claimed that he had heard about Eleanor's adultery with Geoffrey from the saintly Bishop Hugh of Lincoln, who had learned of it from Henry II of England, Geoffrey's son and Eleanor's second husband. Eleanor was estranged from Henry at the time Giraldus was writing, and the King was trying to secure an anullment of their marriage from the Pope. It would have been to his advantage to decalre her an adulterous wife who had had carnal relations with his father, for that in itself would have rendered their marriage incestous and would have provided prima-facie grounds for its dissolution. Indeed, the grounds on which Henry sought an anullment were shrouded in secrecy, which may in itself have been significant. It seems likely that he alleged consanguinity, which could have embraced either his genetic affinity with Eleanor or her possible affair with his father. The incestous nature of such a connection would alone have ensured confidentiality."


I think that alone lends some sort of suspicion to Giraldus' comments - there was something to gain from the accusation being uttered. Had there have been some truth in the matter, I think Henry would seriously have reconsidered his marriage to Eleanor from the beginning. And consanguinity is such a feeble "out" - the laws of consanguinity were ignored when convenient and adopted when prudent.

Iluvbertie 04-26-2010 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melisende (Post 1073768)
Re: Cleopatra being demonised by later historians:
As was Hatshepshut - no images of her though she was one of Egypt's most remarkable rulers.

With Hatshepshut of course a lot of the demonisation was started by her own son when he succeeded her.

Melibea 04-26-2010 05:26 PM

^^
She didn't have any sons, only daughters, it was a son of her husband

Lumutqueen 04-26-2010 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melibea (Post 1074016)
^^
She didn't have any sons, only daughters, it was a son of her husband

Are we talking about Cleopatra or Eleanor?
Cleopatra had a son named Ptolemy Caesar who was Caesar's son, and later twins with Mark Anthony, a boy and a girl.

And Eleanor of Aquitaine had 5 sons, all by Henry II.

or someone else perhaps?

Dierna23 04-26-2010 06:01 PM

:previous:

They were talking about Hatshepsut I think. Hatshepsut had only one daughter, Neferure.

Melibea 04-26-2010 06:04 PM

^^
You're correct

Iluvbertie 04-26-2010 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melibea (Post 1074016)
^^
She didn't have any sons, only daughters, it was a son of her husband


I stand correct - it was of course her successor.

EleanorOfAquitaine 07-08-2010 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ithil (Post 738032)
I totally agree that Eleanor of Aquitaine was a very amazing and fascinating woman!

I also agree. I really adore Eleanor.

Are there still any other Eleanor fans here?

I am new here, today i discovered this forum when i searched in the web about Eleanor.
It is very difficult, to find other Eleanor Fans in the world wide web, because she had no own forum.
So i hope to find here others who really like her.

But i dont like King Henry II becauce he cheated her with other womens, and then he prisoned her, because she fight for her sons.
And i dont understand, why Henry thread his wonderful woman so bad.
She must be very strong zu hold on 16 long years of prisoning.

Russophile 07-09-2010 03:17 PM

she was tough! That is for sure! I have the boring book by Amy what's-her-face and have not done justice to the Fair Eleanor however I admire the woman for her pluck! Don't think that Henry DIDN'T think Eleanor couldn't raise an army and kick his sorry arse off the throne. HA! :biggrin:

Lumutqueen 07-09-2010 03:18 PM

I just love her name to be honest.
She seems like a wonderful woman.

EleanorOfAquitaine 07-10-2010 04:59 AM

@Russophile @Lumutqueen

Oh great, i am not the only one here who admires Eleanor:biggrin:

I want to make a forum about her. Do you want to register when its ready?
I think a great tough woman like her must have an own forum.

My meaning is, that Henry had really feared her strenght, thats the reason why he prisoned her.

Vasillisos Markos 07-10-2010 10:48 PM

Henry isolated Eleanor because of her power and the loyalty she could raise on the continent, not to mention the support of her sons/

EleanorOfAquitaine 07-12-2010 08:11 AM

@Vasillisos

I think you are right with that...in the Aquitaine Eleanor had the power, because she was the dutchess..and the barons of Aquitaine had feel loyality for her not for Henry.
I think the biggest mistake Eleanor has made in her live was merrieng Henry.

Russophile 07-12-2010 03:59 PM

But who else could she have married to give her power like that? Although she DID have power on her own, of course.

EleanorOfAquitaine 07-12-2010 04:23 PM

@Russophile

I think, that sie has enough power to rule aquitaine without an husband.
But in the middle ages woman with so much estates like she had often went captured and forced to marry. Thats the reason, why she had to marry.

My meaning is, that henry had devious cheated her to bring her to the marriage.
Henrys younger brother had caputered her, and then Henry came to free her from his brother.
I think, that henry did planned this, that he had persuade his brother to capture Eleanor, so he could free her and marry her.

A big cheat, which was very unfair zu eleanor.

I think, that he didnt love her, because he had a lot of affaires, even in the first year of his marriage with her. I think that he had married her only because he needed her power and estates to can conquer the throne of england.

PrincessKaimi 08-07-2011 01:06 AM

I think she and Henry truly loved each other - or thought they were in love - when they married. I also think they were both incredibly headstrong people, both of them prone to having affairs (she had one with Henry while married to the King of France, just for starters - and going with the most conservative historical view of her).

By an affair, I mean a love affair (have no idea whether they waited until they were married, etc.)

I believe she was very miffed at Henry installing his mistress as his consort.

XeniaCasaraghi 08-07-2011 02:09 AM

I don't fault Henry for imprisoning Eleanor, what she did was treasonous. I like both Henry and Eleanor and I think their story is rather sad because it was doomed to turn cold because she was so much older. Men married to older women just tend to lose interest. Similarly to Katharine of Aragon, their younger husbands married them when they were still young and pretty; but as time goes on and with all those pregnancies their eyes start to wander. Thankfully unlike Katharine, Eleanor produced sons. She is very much a fascinating and awe inspiring woman; a Duchess in her own right, Queen of France, Queen of England, and mother of two kings.

PrincessKaimi 08-11-2011 02:46 PM

I've been married for 20 years to a younger man who just a few minutes ago said he certainly has not lost interest. I guess we'll keep waiting, but as I am in my 50's and he in his late 40's, it seems time may run out before we tire of each other. He also says that now that the children have flown the nest, I look about 20 years younger (that would be the extra sleep I get, I think).

As a descendant of Eleanor of Aquitane through my grandmother, my husband constantly reminds me that our line of women remains quite vibrant and lively until a very old age. My grandmother is 97. Her descent from the Plantagenets comes from both Col. James Taylor and Martha Thompson, as well as through the Thornton family (descended from Eleanor Plantagenet - the mother of Blanche who married Louis IX, through Blanche and the de Hollands/Greys). My mother, who is 72, still turns heads and has her suitors. My sister also married a younger man (and my mother did two, on her second marriage - an incredibly handsome guy although they were both too fiery and it didn't work out).

At any rate, I highly enjoy being married to a younger man (no one has ever dared tell us that we look different ages, btw - perhaps it's my Plantagenet temperament...) And, people who make blanket statements about age differences in marriage usually get told how we view things.

Henry was of course not prone to fidelity in the first place (although frankly, he didn't come close to his father's number of infidelities).

Katharine Hepburn (after whom we named our daughter, among other Katharines) was 61 (approximately) when she filmed Lion in Winter and I think she's too lovely for words and gives poor Alais/Jane Merrow a good deal of competition in terms of attractiveness. But then, character is part of beauty. At our house, we think the aged Queen Elizabeth II is quite an attractive lady, and the Queen Mother was cute and vivacious until 100. My husband says that Queen Elizabeth II's bearing and style have actually improved over the years and that she's more attractive than her daughter (so perhaps I should be worried that he'll run off with an older woman).

XeniaCasaraghi 09-16-2011 07:25 PM

Good for you Kami, but despite your personal experience; there are too many times in history where a man (usually one in power) who married an older woman over time grows tired of them. There are even men who have not married women older than them who end up leaving their wife for someone even younger.

PrincessKaimi 09-29-2011 07:54 PM

I don't think Eleanor's marriage to Henry was a mistake, at all. They were both powerful and difficult people, with far-reaching minds and very few other people who could have been their equals at the time. They concocted one of the first modern-like marriages and changed history.

People do have problems. Did he grow tired of her? I don't think so. I think Becket complicated his life to such a point that, after his mother died, he could not cope with people telling him what to do, at all (and that included the high-spirited and often-right Eleanor). Her royal confinement was unjust, but no more unjust than many modern divorces.

XeniaCasaraghi 10-02-2011 02:21 AM

I don't believe I ever said their marriage was a mistake. They loved each other for a time and she was the most powerful woman in Europe at the time in her own right. And though I like Eleanor, I have to disagree that her confinement was unjust; supporting and promoting rebellion amongst your sons against their father is a serious offense. If her husband had been Henry VIII and not Henry II, she would have lost her head.

An Ard Ri 04-07-2013 05:04 PM

Eleanor of Aquitaine died on April 1st,1204


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ine_effigy.jpg

Pranter 04-07-2013 05:26 PM

Those are so cool!

LaRae

An Ard Ri 04-07-2013 05:34 PM

The Face of Henry II

The Face of Henry II (Photoshop Reconstruction) - YouTube


The Face of Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Face of Eleanor of Aquitaine (Photoshop Reconstruction) - YouTube

Baroness of Books 04-07-2013 06:55 PM

I love Eleanor of Aquitaine for her indomitable spirit and her wilful independent nature and have read just about every biography written about her. I'm not surprised that there aren't too many representations of her left extant since she probably scared the bejesus out of her contemporaries and they didn't want to leave too many portraits or sculptures existing. She ruled her own territories from a young age, became Queen of France about 15 years old, went on Crusade and gave her husbands and the Church a run for their money by demanding dissolution of her first marriage. King Louis of France loved her but was too monklike to satisfy Eleanor physically and when Henry came along, she realized that she could obtain additional power through him as well as a satisfactory bedmate. She knew once her marriage to Louis ended, she would be prey to anyone who would kidnap her and acquire her territories through forced marriage, so marrying the heir to England and Normandy was a logical conclusion. She saw the continuation of her power through her children, namely Richard her favorite.

If any reports of Eleanor's beauty are true, the photoshop of her effigy certainly proves it. What a beautiful woman she would have been. Thank you, An Ard Ri, for posting those videos.

BritishRoyalist 10-26-2013 09:23 PM

I was just reading about her and I have to say one thing that amazes me is her Longevity! It was extremely rare at that time to live into your 80s. She even lived longer then Queen Alexandra (Well by a mere Two Years).

An Ard Ri 11-14-2013 10:54 AM

Interesting article on Eleanor of Aquitaine



Eleanor, Queen of France and England and Duchess of Aquitaine

An Ard Ri 05-19-2014 02:08 PM

18th of May 1152. The Wedding at Poitiers

Henry the Young King: 18 May 1152. The Wedding at Poitiers

An Ard Ri 05-29-2014 04:24 PM

Eleanor of Aquitaine & the Famous Sainte-Radegonde Wall Painting

the Fresco of Chinon ?

An Ard Ri 06-15-2014 01:12 PM

14 June 1170: Henry Crowned King at Westminster Abbey



Henry the Young King: 14 June 1170: Henry Crowned King at Westminster Abbey

Baroness of Books 06-15-2014 06:13 PM

And so began a deterioration in the relationship between Henry I and his son when the latter was crowned the Young King.

An Ard Ri 07-06-2014 06:14 AM

Legacy of Henry II


The Legacy of Henry Plantagenet | History Today

An Ard Ri 07-06-2014 02:03 PM

Death of Henry II. 6 July 1189


Henry the Young King: Death of Henry II. 6 July 1189

CyrilVladisla 07-12-2014 09:10 PM

Henry II spent more than 20 years of his three-and-a-half decade reign abroad.
Henry II embarked on a campaign of destroying what were known as adulterine castles.
These castles were the fortresses built throughout the countryside without royal consent by barons taking advantage of a weak king.
In 1185 Henry II was asked to be the ruler of the kingdom of Jerusalem. He declined.
In December 1168, Eleanor held her first independent Christmas court at Portiers. :holly::holly::holly::holly::holly:
In Kings & Queens of Great Britain, David Soud wrote:

Henry II enjoyed good relations with the Church for the first few years of his reign, not least because the pope at the time, Adrian IV was the only Englishman ever to sit on the papal throne.
In Kings and Queens of Great Britain, David Soud wrote:

He (Henry II) was surrounded by pomp, yet he dressed simply, often in riding clothes, and he was not above dropping in on a local tavern for a few flagons of ale -- a practice that further endeared him to the commonfolk.
In Queens Consort, Lisa Hilton wrote:

Richard was invested as Duke of Acquitaine in 1170, a very satisfying development for Eleanor, who used the occasion to demonstrate her own power and augment it by her association with the future duke. At the cathedral of St. Hilaire on 31 May, Eleanor wore the coronet of Acquitaine. The coronet was placed briefly on Richard's head, then substituted with a plainer silver circlet: Eleanor was making it clear that she was still in control.

An Ard Ri 05-05-2015 12:13 PM

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Not Your Average Medieval Woman

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Not Your Average Medieval Woman

An Ard Ri 05-21-2015 12:31 PM

Joan of England,daughter of Henry II & Eleanor.

Joanna of England, the Lionheart’s Little Sister – History… the interesting bits!

Curryong 05-21-2015 09:49 PM

What a scheming, quarrelsome bunch Henry and Eleanor's children were, egged on by their mother and made worse by Henry's hair trigger temper ! We read less about the daughters than the sons of course, and the piece about Joanna was interesting.

An Ard Ri 06-21-2015 07:48 AM

Why ‘Bad King John’ was actually Good!

Why Magna Carta's ‘Bad King John’ was actually Good | History Extra

An Ard Ri 07-05-2015 09:14 AM

Henry II and Dover Castle in Kent

The King and his castle: how Henry II rebuilt his reputation | History Extra

An Ard Ri 08-28-2015 06:16 AM

In the Footsteps of Eleanor of Aquitaine

In the Footsteps of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Le Mans

An Ard Ri 11-04-2015 05:48 PM

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Medieval Matriarch

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Medieval Matriarch | Royal Central

An Ard Ri 11-11-2015 08:58 AM

Joanna of England, the Lionheart’s Little Sister

Joanna of England, the Lionheart’s Little Sister – History… the interesting bits!

An Ard Ri 12-27-2015 06:53 AM

Isabel of Gloucester, the Lost Queen of England


Isabel of Gloucester, the Lost Queen of England – History… the interesting bits!

An Ard Ri 12-29-2015 09:18 AM

On this day, December 29th: Murder in the cathedral.

The Death of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral

An Ard Ri 01-28-2016 12:59 PM

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life, times and influence of Eleanor of Aquitaine

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Eleanor of Aquitaine

An Ard Ri 03-29-2016 01:42 PM

Grandson of Henry & Eleanor : Arthurof Brittany, England’s Lost Prince.

Arthur: England’s Lost Prince – History… the interesting bits!

An Ard Ri 05-23-2016 08:26 AM

Return of Henry II's 'troublesome priest': Thomas Becket relic will be brought back to Britain for the first time in 800 years and displayed in the very cathedral he was killed

Thomas Becket relic will be brought back to Britain for first time in 800 years | Daily Mail Online

CyrilVladisla 08-28-2016 09:30 PM

The Assize of the Forest was King Henry II's 1184 formulation of laws regulating the forest. The King commanded that no tanner or bleacher of hides shall dwell in his forests outside of a borough.

CyrilVladisla 03-11-2018 04:25 PM

Pope Adrian IV (in office from 1154 to 1159) gave King Henry II the right to rule Ireland. Why would the Pope have to give the monarch the right to rule another country?

CyrilVladisla 10-21-2018 06:33 PM

On May 27, 1152 Eleonor of Aquitaine revoked a grant of the forest of Le Sevre to the abbey of Saint-Maixent. She had co-signed this grant with her first spouse, King Louis VII in 1146. Eleonor regranted the grant in her own right.

CyrilVladisla 10-21-2019 07:56 PM

In a series of treaties, King Henry II was recognized as a feudal overlord. Henry had power over Scotland under the Treaty of Falaise signed in 1174 with King William of Scots. Henry was overlord of Ireland under the Treaty of Windsor in 1175.


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