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

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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/

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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Georgiana

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was a fashionista, a gambler, a political activist, a writer and a figurehead of England’s Georgian age.

Georgiana married the Duke of Devonshire when she was 17-years-old. Her marriage to the duke was unconventional because of his many affairs, especially with her best friend, Bess, who eventually lived with the Cavendishes in their home.

Her unhappy marriage did not deter Georgiana for making a fabulous name for herself in London society. She was a close friend with Marie Antoinette and England’s royal family.

Georgiana was a celebrity in eighteenth-century England. She not only dictated fashion, but she became a political activist for the Whig party. Her notoriety and popularity among commoners and politicians were large factors in the elections that the Whigs were able to win.

Georgiana lived a glamorous lifestyle, and she unfortunately had much debt from frequent gambling.

Because of her unhappy marriage, Georgiana fell in love and had an affair with a lord. When the duke, Georgiana’s husband, discovered the affair he would not allow her to see their three children. Georgiana was a devoted mother and eventually renounced the affair to be with her them.

Despite the unhappiness of her marriage, Georgiana cared for her husband in his later years and committed herself to her children, writing and scientific ventures.

Georgiana was a celebrity of her day, however she is an example of how selflessness and devotion to those closest to you is the most important thing.

Source: http://www.cherylbolen.com/georgiana.htm

Photo source: http://www.historyhome.co.uk/people/georgia.htm