Eleanor of Provence: The Caring Consort and Controversial Queen

Wilkinson, Louise (2023) Eleanor of Provence: The Caring Consort and Controversial Queen. In: Norman to Early Plantagenet Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty. Queenship and Power, 1 . Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

Eleanor of Provence: The Caring Consort and Controversial Queen
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Eleanor of Provence was probably just 12 years old when she arrived in England in 1236 to marry Henry III (r. 1216–1272). The couple’s marriage was celebrated in Canterbury Cathedral on 14 January and was followed by the new Queen’s coronation at Westminster Abbey less than a week later. The whole of London was decorated with flags and banners, the streets were cleaned, and London’s leading citizens came out in their finest clothes and jewels to greet Henry and his wife. In time, this young bride matured into one of England’s most influential early Plantagenet queens consort. Lavished with attention by her husband, Eleanor became an active participant in the religious devotions and charitable activities that absorbed Henry. The English Court also acquired a distinctly Provençal flavour as Eleanor successfully encouraged her English husband to promote her Savoyard relations to positions of wealth and power. Eleanor’s high standing in Henry’s affections as his trusted counsellor, helpmeet and adviser was buttressed by the birth of five children. She relished the additional responsibilities that motherhood brought her, investing time and care in her offspring’s physical and emotional welfare. This chapter examines how Eleanor’s role as a dynamic, foreign royal bride, who acted unashamedly in favour of her own and her family’s interests within England, made her a controversial figure for many of her contemporaries.

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Keywords:Medieval History, Queenship, Eleanor of Provence, Henry III of England, Savoyards
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:48550
Deposited On:31 Mar 2022 10:23

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