13 March, 2015

Three Queen Maries

A post about three European queens of Edward II's era, all called Marie/a, two of whom died in 1321 and the other in 1323.  They were: Marie of Brabant, queen of France; Maria de Molina, queen of Castile and Leon; Marie of Hungary, queen of Naples and Albania.

Marie of Brabant, queen of France (1254-1321)

Marie was the second queen of Philip III of France, the son of Saint Louis IX and Marguerite of Provence and the first cousin of Edward I of England.  Philip succeeded his father as king in August 1270 when he was twenty-five, and his first wife Isabel of Aragon, mother of Philip IV and Charles of Valois (and grandmother of Edward II's queen Isabella) died in January 1271 after she was thrown from her horse.  Philip and Marie of Brabant married in August 1274, and were the parents of Louis, count of Evreux (1276-1319), Marguerite, queen of England (1278/79-1318) and Blanche, duchess of Austria (early 1280s?-1305).

Marie was the daughter of a duke of Brabant and granddaughter of a duke of Burgundy, and her brother Duke John I of Brabant was the father-in-law of Edward II's sister Margaret (so Edward's brother-in-law Duke John II was Marie's nephew).  Her father was Duke Henry III of Brabant, who died in 1261 when she was a child, and her mother Adelaide was a daughter of Duke Hugh IV of Burgundy.  Adelaide's younger brother Duke Robert II of Burgundy, Marie of Brabant's uncle, married Saint Louis IX's youngest daughter Agnes of France and was the father of Marguerite of Burgundy, who married Louis X of France and Navarre and was imprisoned for adultery in 1314, and Joan of Burgundy, who married Philip VI of France (reigned 1328 to 1350).  This means that Marie of Brabant was the first cousin of the much younger Marguerite of Burgundy (born in 1290), who married Marie's step-grandson Louis X of France.  Ah, medieval family trees never fail to baffle and confuse.  Marie was also a first cousin of Blanche of Artois, queen of Navarre, mother-in-law of Philip IV and grandmother of Edward II's queen Isabella.  Marie of Brabant's paternal grandmother Maria von Hohenstaufen, duchess of Brabant and wife of Duke Henry III, after whom she was presumably named, was one of the daughters of Philip of Swabia, king of Germany, youngest son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.  Maria von Hohenstaufen's sister Elisabeth or Beatriz was the first wife of Edward II's grandfather Fernando III of Castile and Leon, and the mother of Fernando's eldest ten children.

Marie of Brabant, queen of France, was widowed on 5 October 1285 when Philip III died at the age of only forty, and her seventeen-year-old stepson Philip IV succeeded to the throne.  She outlived Philip IV, all three of her children, who died in 1305, 1318 and 1319, and her step-grandson Louis X.  She died on 12 January 1321 in her mid-sixties, in the reign of her second step-grandson Philip V, and was buried in the convent of the Cordeliers in Paris; she had outlived her husband by three and a half decades.  Her granddaughter Joan of Evreux became queen-consort of France as the third wife of Charles IV in 1324, another granddaughter Marie, countess of Bar, was Edward II's niece by marriage, and her grandson Philip of Evreux was king-consort of Navarre as the husband of Joan II, daughter of Louis X of France and Navarre and Marguerite of Burgundy.  Marie was also the grandmother of Edward II's half-brothers Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk and Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, and the great-great-grandmother of Richard II of England.

Maria de Molina, queen of Castile and Leon (c. 1260/65-1321)

Maria was Edward II's first cousin once removed: she was the daughter of Alfonso, lord of Molina, younger brother of Edward's maternal grandfather Fernando III of Castile and Leon.  Alfonso of Molina, second of the two sons of Alfonso IX, king of Leon and Berenguela, queen of Castile, was born in the early 1200s and thus was in his late fifties or sixties when Maria was born, and died in 1272 when she was a child.  She was the daughter of his third wife Mayor Alfonso de Menezes.  In 1282, Maria de Molina married her first cousin once removed Sancho IV, second son of Alfonso X of Castile and grandson of her uncle Fernando III (and a first cousin of Edward II).  In 1284, Sancho succeeded to the throne of Castile and Leon, setting aside his two young nephews, the sons of his dead older brother Fernando de la Cerda, and Maria thus became queen-consort of Castile and Leon.  Maria and Sancho had two daughters: Isabel, their eldest child, born in 1283, briefly queen of Aragon then duchess of Brittany, proposed as a bride for the future Edward II in 1303, and their youngest child Beatriz, queen of Portugal, born in 1293 and the wife of Afonso IV and mother of Pedro I.  In between came five sons, two of whom died young.  Their eldest son was Fernando IV, born in 1285, who succeeded his father as king, the second surviving son was Pedro, killed at the battle of Vega de Granada in 1319, and the third was Felipe, who died in 1327.

Maria was widowed in April 1295 when Sancho IV died suddenly in his late thirties, leaving their nine-year-old son Fernando to succeed him, and chaos ensued in Castile as various members of the royal family, including Sancho IV's brother Juan, claimed the throne and Jaime II of Aragon invaded the kingdom (and repudiated his child-wife Isabel, Maria de Molina's daughter).  Maria, a canny politician, saved her son's throne and acted as his co-regent (with her late husband's uncle Enrique, son of Fernando III) until he came of age, and did the same thing again in 1312 when Fernando IV died at the age of only twenty-seven, leaving his one-year-old son Alfonso XI to succeed him.  Maria served as regent for her grandson; on her death on 1 July 1321, power was shared out among several regents.

Marie of Hungary, queen of Naples and Albania (1257/58-1323)

Marie was the daughter of Stephen or Istvan V, king of Hungary and Croatia, and Elizabeth the Cuman, the daughter of either Seyhan, a chief of the Cuman tribe who had fled to Hungary from the Mongol armies advancing across the Eurasian steppes, or Köten, another chief.  Elizabeth's family practised shamanism, and she had to convert to Christianity on marrying Stephen, a match arranged when they were children.  Stephen and Elizabeth's other children, Marie of Hungary's siblings, included King Ladislaus IV of Hungary, Elizabeth and Katherine, both queens of Serbia, and Anna, who married the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologus (to whom Edward II wrote in 1313, and whose second wife was Edward's first cousin once removed Yolande of Montferrat).

On 6 August 1270, Marie of Hungary married Charles 'the Lame' of Naples, also sometimes called Charles of Salerno (born c. 1248/54), who was a first cousin of both Edward I of England and Philip III of France, their mothers Marguerite, Eleanor and Beatrice of Provence all being sisters.  Charles of Naples was the eldest surviving son and heir of Charles of Anjou, youngest brother of Saint Louis IX, who became king of Naples and Sicily in 1266.  Sicily was lost to the family after the Sicilian Vespers of 1282, but Charles II still became king of Naples, king of Albania, count of Provence, Forcalquier and Anjou, and prince of Salerno and Achaea.  Marie of Hungary and Charles of Naples had at least fourteen children, including Charles Martel, titular king of Hungary; Robert 'the Wise', king of Naples, titular king of Sicily and Jerusalem; Philip, king of Albania, prince of Taranto and Achaea, despot of Epirus, and titular emperor of Constantinople by his second marriage to Isabella of France's first cousin Catherine of Valois;  Louis, bishop of Toulouse, canonised as a saint by John XXII in 1317; Blanche, second queen of Jaime II of Aragon after he had his marriage to Maria de Molina's daughter Isabel of Castile annulled; Eleanor, queen of Frederick III of Sicily; Marie, queen of Sancho I of Majorca; John of Gravina, duke of Durrazzo; Peter Tempesta, meaning 'storm'; and Marguerite, countess of Anjou, first wife of Isabella of France's uncle Charles, count of Valois and ancestor of the Valois dynasty of French kings.

Marie of Hungary, queen of Naples and Albania, was widowed in 1309 and lived until 25 March 1323 when she was well into her sixties, long enough to see her numerous - fifty or so - grandchildren grow up and produce some of her great-grandchildren.  Her granddaughter Clemence of Hungary (daughter of Charles Martel) married Edward II's brother-in-law Louis X of France in 1315 and gave birth in 1316 to a son who became king of France as soon as he drew breath but who died five days later.  Maria's great-granddaughter Joanna (granddaughter and heir of Robert 'the Wise') became queen of Naples and Sicily in her own right and was murdered in 1382.  In 1328 Marie's grandson Philip of Valois (son of Marguerite, countess of Anjou) became King Philip VI of France, and in the same year her great-granddaughter Philippa of Hainault (daughter of Philip VI's sister Joan of Valois) married Edward III of England.  The blood of Elizabeth the Cuman and her shamanistic ancestors entered the English royal family: Edward III's children were Elizabeth's great-great-great-grandchildren.


Anerje said...

Three very strong women from your bios, who lived long lives considering the period.

Sami Parkkonen said...

I am amazed the amount of info you have of all these people. It is stunning.