Who was Isabella Capet, and what role did she play in the British Monarchy?
Isabella Capet, was the daughter of King Phillip IV of France, and of Jeanne of Navarre. She had been described, as a little on the wild side, always getting her own way, no matter the cost.
On the 25th January 1308, in Boulogne, France. Isabella Capet married King Edward II of England, in an arranged marriage between England and France. These types of marriages, were very common in those days, it was more about politics, and keeping the peace with each country.
She bore Edward II a son in 1312, the future King Edward III. Later she bore Edward a second son and two daughters.
By the 1320’s, Isabella and Edward’s dislike for each other, had scaled to new heights. For Edward would spend more time with Pier Gaveston in what was referred to, as having a homosexual affair, than he would with his own wife.
Edward gave much support to the LeDespenser’s group of nobles, and listened to their advice. As for Charles IV of France, Isabella’s brother, who was part of a group, who were against the rule he imposed on England; they were exiled from this land, which would have infuriated Isabella.
King Edward’s II’s, reign was not an easy one, as many barons were known to rebel against his authority, in an effort to gain power, and control the King.
Isabella, secretly gathered round her a group of conspiritators, who thought as she did, including Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, who became her lover.
Isabella went to Paris in 1325, on a mission to see her exiled brother, Charles IV of France, and craftily succeeded in getting her eldest son, Prince Edward, sent to join her in France. The stage was now set for a successful coup, in which Edward II would be deposed and be replaced by his son, Prince Edward … and later murdered at Berkeley Castle.
This was the first time that an anointed King of England had been dethroned since Ethelred in 1013.
In 1326, Edward’s wife, Isabella of France, led an invasion against her husband, and had him imprisoned in Berkeley Castle, and in 1327 he was murdered.
Prince Edward, now King Edward III was crowned king of England in 1327, with his mother Isabella and Roger Mortimer her lover as his regents.
In 1330, Edward III took full control of his duties as King of England, and had Roger Mortimer executed, and allowed his mother to live out the rest of her life at Castle Rising. She was not permitted to leave the grounds. She haunts this castle her final resting place, and her screams and manic laughter can still be heard to this day.