01 December, 2021

Philippa of Hainault and the Cumans' mtDNA

Philippa of Hainault (c. 1314-69), queen of Edward III, was a great-great-granddaughter of a queen of Hungary and Croatia named Elizabeth, or Erzsébet in its Hungarian form. Elizabeth, who died in 1290, was born into a nomadic tribe of the Eurasian steppes who practised shamanism. The Cumans fled into Hungary in the 1230s and 1240s to escape the incursions of Genghis Khan’s sons and grandsons into their territories, and Elizabeth’s father, whose name is believed to have been either Seyhan or Köten and who was the Cumans’ khan or chieftain, arranged Elizabeth’s marriage to the future king of Hungary, Stephen (or István) V. She converted to Christianity before her wedding and took the Christian name Elizabeth, and her daughter Marie of Hungary (d. 1323), queen of Naples, was Philippa of Hainault’s great-grandmother.

Elizabeth the Cuman, queen of Hungary and Croatia (d. 1290) -> Marie of Hungary, queen of Naples (d. 1323) -> Marguerite of Anjou-Naples, countess of Valois (d. 1299) -> Jeanne de Valois, countess of Hainault (d. 1352) -> Philippa of Hainault, queen of England (d. 1369)

Queen Philippa's maternal uncle Philip VI of France (born 1293, reigned 1328-50), son of Marguerite of Anjou-Naples and older brother of Jeanne de Valois, was also descended from Elizabeth the Cuman in the female line, and therefore carried the same mtDNA.

And on the topic of maternal descent, here's Edward II's, going backwards, as far back as I've been able to trace it for certain:

Edward II - Leonor/Eleanor of Castile, queen of England (d. 1290) - Jeanne of Ponthieu, queen of Castile (d. 1279) - Marie of Ponthieu, countess of Ponthieu and Aumale (d. 1250) - Alais/Alix/Alys of France, countess of Ponthieu (d. c. 1220/21) - Constanza of Castile, queen of France (d. 1160) - Berenguela of Barcelona, queen of Castile (d. 1149) - Douce/Dulce, countess of Provence (d. c. 1127/30) - Gerberga of Provence (d. c. 1112/15) - Etiennette of Marseille (?)

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