|Isabella of Valois|
|Duchess of Orléans|
|Queen consort of England|
|Tenure||31 October 1396 – 29 September 1399|
|Coronation||8 January 1397|
|Born||9 November 1389|
|Died||13 September 1409 (aged 19)|
Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France
|Issue||Joan, Duchess of Alençon|
|Father||Charles VI of France|
|Mother||Isabeau of Bavaria|
Isabella of Valois (9 November 1389 – 13 September 1409) was Queen of England as the wife of Richard II, King of England between 1396 and 1399, and Duchess of Orléans as the wife of Charles, Duke of Orléans from 1406 until her death in 1409. She had been born a princess of France as the daughter of King Charles VI.
Isabella was born on 9 November 1389 in Paris, France as the third child and second daughter of Charles VI, King of France (Charles the Beloved/Charles the Mad) and his wife, Isabeau/Isabelle of Bavaria.Her eldest sibling had already died by the time of her birth, and the second-eldest died the following year, however, she had nine younger siblings, seven of whom survived infancy. Five of her younger siblings were only born after Isabella had already been married off to England, and one of them died while she was still there.
In 1396 negotiations started about marrying six-year-old Isabella to the widower Richard II, King of England (1367–1400), who was 22 years her senior, to ensure peace between their countries. The fact that she was a child was discussed, but King Richard said that each day would rectify that problem; that it was an advantage as he would then be able to shape her in accordance with his ideal; and that he was young enough to wait. Isabella told the English envoys (who described her as pretty) that she was happy to be Queen of England as she had been told that this would make her a great lady.She also started practising for the role.
King Richard travelled to Paris for his bride, where great festivities were held. Then, the court and the English guests went to Calais where the wedding ceremony was performed on 31 October 1396, but would not be consummated at least until the bride's twelfth birthday.
A tearful Princess Isabelle, dressed in a blue velvet dress sewn with golden fleurs de lys and wearing a diadem of gold and pearls, was carried by the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy to Richard’s pavilion. She was taken away by a delegation of English ladies led by the Duchesses of Lancaster and Gloucester. Four days later, on 4 November 1396, she was brought to the church of St. Nicholas in Calais where Richard married her. She was five days short of her seventh birthday. Her dolls were included in her trousseau.
After the wedding Isabella went to England with her new husband, where she was moved into Windsor Castle in Berkshire. She had her own court, supervised by a governess and chief lady-in-waiting, Madame de Coucy (later replaced by Lady Mortimer). She was crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey in 1397.
Although their union was an arranged political marriage, and in spite of the age difference, Isabella and Richard developed a mutually respectful relationship. Due to the age of Isabella (the Canonical law for sexual consummation being twelve), the marriage was never sexually consummated. [ citation needed ]However, Isabella and Richard enjoyed a good platonic relationship, which has been compared to that between a father and his adopted daughter or between a niece and a doting uncle, and he was noted to have treated her not as a wife but rather as the daughter he and his first wife Anne never had. The king regularly visited her in Windsor, where he treated her with respect and entertained her and her ladies-in-waiting with humorous conversation, and pampered her with gifts and toys. Isabella reportedly enjoyed and looked forward to these visits.
By May 1399 the Queen had been moved to Portchester Castle for protection while Richard went on a military campaign in Ireland. In June, Isabella's uncle, Louis I, Duke of Orléans (1372–1407) took power in France from her mentally troubled father. He decided that a peaceful relationship with England was no longer important or desirable, and let Henry Bolingbroke (1367–1413), Richard's cousin and rival, return to England. Henry's declared goal was to regain the lands of his father, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340–1399) who had died in February of that year, prompting King Richard to cancel the act by which Henry would have inherited his lands automatically.[ citation needed ]
Many of England's lords supported Henry, who started a military campaign and took the country without much resistance, taking advantage of Richard being in Ireland. Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, Keeper of the Realm and an uncle of both Richard and Henry, eventually also sided with the rebels. He moved Isabella first to Wallingford Castle, then to Leeds Castle. On 19 August, Richard surrendered, and he was imprisoned in London on 1 September. On 13 October 1399, Henry was crowned king. Isabella was confined at Sonning Bishop's Palace (residence of the Bishop of Salisbury).[ citation needed ] After the unsuccessful attempt to murder Henry IV and his sons during the failed Epiphany Rising where the conspirators had gone to Sonning to meet with Isabella, she was moved to Essex and held under heavier guard at Havering Palace.
On or around 14 February 1400 the deposed king died under mysterious circumstances, possibly of starvation. The French court requested that his widow be returned to France, but Henry IV wanted her to marry his son and heir, Henry of Monmouth (1386–1422). Isabella refused his demands and went into mourning for her late husband. In August 1401 she was finally allowed to return to France, but Henry IV kept her dowry, which she was supposed to get back if the marriage was never consummated.The same year, marriage negotiations were started for a match between Prince Henry and Catherine of Pomerania instead.
In 1406, when the marriage negotiations between the prince of Wales and Catherine of Pomerania had been terminated, Henry IV repeated his suggestion that Isabella should marry his son, but was refused by the French court. In 1420, Henry's son married Isabella's sister, Catherine of Valois.
On 29 June 1406 Isabella, aged 16, married her paternal cousin, Charles (1394–1465), aged 11,who became Duke of Orléans in 1407 following the assassination of his father. Isabella died in childbirth on 13 September 1409 at the age of 19. Her daughter, Joan of Valois (1409–1432) survived and married John II, Duke of Alençon (1409–1476) in 1424.
Isabella was buried in Blois, in the Abbey of Saint Laumer of Blois,where her body was discovered in 1624, wrapped in bands of linen plated with mercury. Her remains were then transferred to the Couvent des Célestins (Convent of the Celestines) in Paris, the second most important burial site for French royalty, which was desecrated during the French Revolution.
|Ancestors of Isabella of Valois|
The Capetian dynasty, also known as the "House of France", is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans. Cadet branches of the Capetian House of Bourbon house are still reigning over Spain and Luxembourg.
Catherine of Valois or Catherine of France was Queen of England from 1420 until 1422. A daughter of Charles VI of France, she was married to Henry V of England and was the mother of Henry VI. Catherine's older sister Isabella had also been a Queen of England as the child bride of Richard II. Catherine's marriage was part of a plan to eventually place Henry V on the throne of France, and perhaps end what is now known as the Hundred Years' War, but although her son Henry VI was later crowned in Paris, this ultimately failed.
The Capetian house of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.
John Beaufort, 1st Marquess of Somerset and 1st Marquess of Dorset, later only 1st Earl of Somerset, was an English nobleman and politician. He was the first of the four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt (1340–1399) by his mistress Katherine Swynford, whom he later married in 1396.
Charles of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1407, following the murder of his father, Louis I, Duke of Orléans. He was also Duke of Valois, Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise and of Blois, Lord of Coucy, and the inheritor of Asti in Italy via his mother Valentina Visconti.
Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, was the father of King Henry VII of England and a member of the Tudor family of Penmynydd, North Wales. Born to Owen Tudor and the dowager queen Catherine of Valois, Edmund was half-brother to Henry VI of England. Edmund was raised for several years by Katherine de la Pole and Henry took an interest in Edmund's upbringing, granting him a title and lands once he came of age. Both Edmund and his brother, Jasper, were made advisers to the King, as they were his closest remaining blood relatives.
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York was the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Like many medieval English princes, Edmund gained his nickname from his birthplace: Kings Langley Palace in Hertfordshire. He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, to Anne de Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Edmund's elder brother Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, that the House of York made its claim to the English throne in the Wars of the Roses. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the incumbent House of Lancaster, was formed from descendants of Edmund's elder brother John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Edward III's third son.
Philip III was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty, to which all 15th-century kings of France belonged. During his reign, the Burgundian State reached the apex of its prosperity and prestige, and became a leading centre of the arts.
John I was a scion of the French royal family who ruled the Burgundian State from 1404 until his death in 1419. He played a key role in French national affairs during the early 15th century, particularly in the struggles to rule the country for the mentally ill King Charles VI, his cousin, and the Hundred Years' War with England. A rash, ruthless and unscrupulous politician, John murdered the King's brother, the Duke of Orléans, in an attempt to gain control of the government, which led to the eruption of the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in France and in turn culminated in his own assassination in 1419.
Louis I of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also Duke of Touraine (1386–1392), Count of Valois (1386?–1406) Blois (1397–1407), Angoulême (1404–1407), Périgord (1400–1407) and Soissons (1404–07).
Isabeau of Bavaria was Queen of France from 1385 to 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to France to marry the young King Charles VI; the couple wed three days after their first meeting.
Elisabeth of France or Elisabeth of Valois was Queen of Spain as the third wife of Philip II of Spain. She was the eldest daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici.
Yolande of Aragon was Duchess of Anjou and Countess of Provence by marriage, who acted as regent of Provence during the minority of her son. She was a daughter of John I of Aragon and his wife Violant of Bar. Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc's army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Yolanda de Aragón and Violant d'Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours.
John II of Alençon was a French nobleman. He succeeded his father as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche as a minor in 1415, after the latter's death at the Battle of Agincourt. He is best known as a general in the Last Phase of the Hundred Years' War and for his role as a comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc.
Margaret of Bavaria was Duchess of Burgundy by marriage to John the Fearless. She was the regent of the Burgundian Low Countries during the absence of her spouse in 1404–1419 and the regent in French Burgundy during the absence of her son in 1419–1423. She became most known for her successful defense of the Duchy of Burgundy against Count John IV of Armagnac in 1419.
Joan of Valois was the only surviving child of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Isabella of Valois. She held the title Duchess of Alençon when married to John II of Alençon.
Robert I of Bar was Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson and Count and then Duke of Bar. He succeeded his elder brother Edward II of Bar as count in 1352. His parents were Henry IV of Bar and Yolande of Flanders.
Richard, Count of Montfort, Vertus, and Étampes, was a Breton nobleman from the House of Dreux-Montfort. Not much is known of his life, except that he was the father of Francis II, Duke of Brittany. In his lifetime, he held many titles and positions. He was appointed captain-general of Guyenne and Poitou in 1419, became the count of Étampes and lord of Palluau, Bourgomeaux, and Ligron on 8 May 1423; and count of Mantes in October 1425.