Eleanor of Aquitaine: Duchess and Queen of Two Countries (1124-1204)


Eleanor of Aquitaine became the most powerful woman in all of France very quickly and at a very young age. Her wealth, association with powerful figureheads and adventurous spirit all contributed to her powerful influence.

At the death of her father and uncle, Eleanor married King Louis VII of France. For a while, it was a very happy and advantageous marriage. Eleanor brought the wealth, culture and arts from Aquitaine, her home, to Paris, France. She contributed much advancement to the city.

Eleanor also travelled to the Crusades with her husband, Louis. However, this adventure would prove to be the defining end of her marriage. She and Louis disagreed on a plan of action in the Crusades. Once they were home, the marriage was annulled.

Soon after, Eleanor wed King Henry II of England and became his Queen. She had a much more political role in England and was able to assert her intelligence and ideas.

However, her marriage to Henry soon began to decline after she gave birth to five sons and three daughters. She moved to a personal residence where she planned a revolt against her estranged husband. Eleanor was imprisoned for a very long time until her sons pleaded for her release.

Richard the Lionheart, one of Eleanor’s sons, eventually became King of England and secured her complete freedom.

Eleanor was a duchess and a queen of two countries. Even in her old age, she continued to battle for what she believed was right and would never back down from a confrontation. She was fiercely loyal to her children and dedicated to bringing culture and prosperity to her kingdoms.

Source: http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/PeopleView.cfm?PID=394

Photo Source: http://www.nndb.com/people/423/000093144/