Issue. Blanche (1205 – died soon after). Philip (9 September 1209 – before July 1218), betrothed in July 1215 to Agnes of Donzy. Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of John. John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of Alphonse. Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 ...
Blanche Of Castile, French Blanche De Castille, Spanish Blanca De Castilla, (born 1188, Palencia, Castile [Spain]—died Nov. 12, 1252, Paris, France), wife of Louis VIII of France, mother of Louis IX (St. Louis), and twice regent of France (1226–34, 1248–52), who by wars and marital alliances did much to secure and unify French territories.
- Goal of Unification
- Conflict with The Albigensian Sect
- The Ascension of Louis IX
- An Arranged Marriage
- A Crusade and Capture
- Death of A Monarch
- A Legacy of Respect
Early in her life in France, Blanche set a goal of French unification. She believed that progress was being made by the victory over the English and her cousin Otto of Brunswick, at Bouvines (1214). In the spring of 1214 Blanche gave birth to her fourth child, Louis, the future king of France. Although she missed Spain and her family, she took to France with ease. In 1216 Louis VIII, not yet king, embarked on an ill-advised journey to invade England. Blanche unsuccessfully sought help for her husband's endeavor from her father-in-law, Philip Augustus. When he refused, tradition has it that she swore she would 'pawn her children if necessary to get money for her husband,' and her father-in-law quickly offered his assistance. Upon the death of John of England in 1216, Blanche and Louis VIII saw an opportunity to further their goal of unification. A small group of barons, who had rebelled against John, sought aid from Louis and, in turn, offered him the throne of England. His first ski...
During this time, a religious sect known as Cathari, or the Albigensians, had grown and flourished throughout southern France. Their belief that good and evil had two separate creators was counter to everything that Blanche, a devout Roman Catholic, believed. In 1224, Louis VIII, who had become king the previous year, seized the opportunity to launch an attack against the heretical group. He captured Poitou and, in 1226, captured the fortress of Auvergne, a Cathari stronghold. It was during this battle that Louis VIII contracted a case of dysentery, which proved fatal. He died on November 8, 1226 while on his return to northern France.
In 1225, when Louis VIII realized his health was failing and death was eminent, he made his will, providing for the succession of his son and naming Blanche as guardian of the kingdom and the royal children. She was to reign as co-regent until his son Louis IX reached adulthood. To ensure his wishes were carried out, he summoned the bishops, lords and officials who had accompanied him and made them swear to have Louis crowned as soon after his death as possible. Louis saw the need for rapid action as the reason for taking such an unprecedented move and naming a woman to serve as regent of the kingdom. Many of the lords believed this was an opportunity to reassert their independence of the crown. The nobles groused that not only was she a stranger and a Spaniard, but also a woman. Their sense was that "Queen Blanche ought not to govern so great a thing as the kingdom of France, and it did not pertain to a woman to do such a thing." But from the moment Blanche learned of her husband's...
To ensure the continuation of her line, Blanche sought an appropriate wife for her son and settled on Margaret of Provence. Margaret was the eldest daughter of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Provence. The marriage occurred on May 27, 1234 when Louis was 20 and Margaret 13. AlthoughBlanche arranged the marriage, she frequently treated her daughter-in-law with disdain. She was said to be an authoritarian mother-in-law and often interfered in her son's marriage. She exercised strict supervision over Margaret and, on occasion, attempted to separate Louis from his wife during the day, leaving only nighttime to the young couple. Blanche believed that her daughter-in-law's sole responsibility was to ensure the succession of the royal authority.
In 1236 Louis came of age but Blanche remained at his side—his strongest supporter and advisor. Louis proved to be an energetic king devoted to his people. He was a devout Roman Catholic, austere and prayerful and a devoted husband and father. His devotion to his religion caused Louis and Margaret to undertake a crusade against the Muslims. Louis took the cross in 1244 but did not set out on the journey to the Holy Land until 1248. The kingdom was once again entrusted to Blanche. When she received word in 1250 of Louis' defeat and capture at Al-Mansurah in Egypt, she sought to raise the ransom needed for his release from her parents, her allies and the pope but Louis remained imprisoned until 1254. During his absence in the Holy Land, his brother Alphonse, count of Poitiers and Toulouse acted as co-regent with Blanche until her death in 1252.
Blanche of Castile suffered with a heart ailment, but continued to preside over court responsibilities. In 1252 she suffered a heart attack while on her way to the Abbey of the Lys for a retreat. She was returned to the Palace of the Louvre in Paris where she received the last rights and died. Her heart was taken to the Abbey of the Lys and she was buried at Maubuisson Abbey.
Blanche of Castile left a legacy of respect and admiration. Throughout her life both friends and enemies alike admired her ability to reign with grace and determination. Theobald I, the son of Theobald of Champagne became Thebaut I, King of Navarre upon the death of his Uncle Sancho VII in 1234. He was an early supporter of Louis VIII but deserted him in 1226. On Louis' death, Theobald joined a group of rebellious barons who opposed Blanche, but he soon abandoned the group in favor of Blanche. He became a poet and composer and many of his verses are dedicated to Blanche. The nobles of the time accused Blanche of having been his lover but most authorities consider that she was too devout a Christian and too devoted to France and her son to have been anything more than an inspiration. Baron Mathieu de Montmorency fought under Louis VIII against the English in 1224 and in the Albigensian conflict in 1226 and he continued his support of Blanche as co-regent with Louis IX. Blanche of Cas...
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- About Blanche of Castile:. In 1200, the French and English kings, Philip Augustus and John, signed a treaty which gave a...
- Blanche as Queen. Accounts of the time indicate that Blanche loved her husband. She delivered twelve children, five of...
- Mother of the King. Blanche had her oldest surviving son crowned as Louis IX on November 29, 1226. She put...
- Marriage, Children.
Blanche of Castile (August 1319 – 1375) was by birth a member of the Castilian House of Burgundy. She was the only child of Infante Peter of Castile, Lord of Los Cameros (son of King Sancho IV of Castile) and Infanta Maria of Aragon (daughter of King James II of Aragon
Blanche of CastileQueen of France1187 – 1252 A.D. Blanche of Castile, Queen of France. She was the daughter of Alfonso IX, King of Castile, and became the wife of Louis VIII, of France. She was the inspiring genius of that king, and on his death assumed the regency during the minority of their son Louis IX. When in 1236 she resigned her power, the kingdom was in a flourishing condition, and had received many important territorial accessions.
Blanche of Castile Figure 1. Blanche of Castile and King Louis IX of France; Author Dictating to a Scribe, Moralized Bible, France, probably Paris, c. 1230, 14 3/4 × 10 1/4 inches / 37.5 × 26.2 cm (The Morgan Library & Museum) In 1226 a French king died, leaving his queen to rule his kingdom until their son came of age.
Nov 26, 2017 · Blanche of Castile, Queen of France and the warrior-regent who held the kingdom for her young son, King Louis IX, passed away on 27 November 1252, and it truly was a loss to the whole nation.
French Royalty. During the winter of 1199/1200 Eleanor of Aquitaine, aged 79 years, travelled to Castile to visit her daughter and to select a wife for the French heir to the throne. During her stay in Palencia she chose her twelve-year-old granddaughter Blanche to strengthen the peace treaty between John of England...
- 1188, Palencia, Provincia de Palencia, Castilla y León, Spain
- grave destroyed
- 27 Nov 1252 (aged 63–64), Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
- Abbey of Maubuisson, Saint-Ouen-l'Aumone, Departement du Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France