view counts 381 views
point counts 0 points
comment counts 0 comments
0 favorites
Effigy of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the church of Fontevraud Abbey. Credit: Adam Bishop ((CC BY-SA 3.0))

At age 15, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France. Her subsequent petition for divorce from Louis was based on the claim that they were too closely related for the marriage to have been legal in the eyes of God (and the church). In 1154, just two years after the marriage was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England. "I am Queen of England," she drily remarked, "by the wrath of God."

[At age 19, she knelt in the cathedral of Vezelay (before the celebrated Abbe Bernard of Clairvaux) and offered him thousands of her vassals for the Second Crusade. Dressed like an Amazon, Eleanor galloped through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the crusades. Ironically, a papal bull was issued for the next Crusade, expressly forbidding women from joining such expeditions.]

Please sign in to participate in this discussion.