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Eleanor of Provence

Queen Eleanor of Provence

Eleanor of Provence

Eleanor of Provence was born in 1223, at Aix-en-Provence to parents Raymond Berenguer IV, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy.

On the 14th January 1236, Eleanor aged twelve; married King Henry III aged twenty-eight at Canterbury Cathedral.

Eleanor was accompanied by her relatives, and Henry gave them influential positions in his government, which made her unpopular with England’s barons, its people, who didn’t trust foreigners.

On the 17th June 1239, her son Edward the future Edward I was born.

Henry an ambitious but ineffective King, lacked willpower.  Eleanor made up for it, showing herself to be self-confident in exercising her power.

When Henry was captured by his own barons, and forced into agreeing terms of reforms, she called upon France for assistance, raising an army to free him … it may have been a failure, but proved her heart was in the right place.

Her son came to the rescue, fought off the rebels and released his father from captivity.

In 1272, Henry died, and her son Edward became King Edward I of England, and she became Queen Dowager.  She assisted in the raising of her grandchildren, but when Henry her grandson died in her care in 1274, she founded Guildford Priory in his name.

In 1286, Eleanor took of her crown and donned the veil of a nun, living a quiet life, until she died on the 24th June 1291 at Amesbury Convent.

Queen Eleanor of Provence was buried in the Abbey of St.Mary and St.Melor in Amesbury on the 9th December 1291.  Her heart was buried at a Franciscan Priory in London.

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