Marguerite of France, Queen of England

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Marguerite de France, reine consort d'Angleterre

Also Known As: "the Pearl of France", "Queen of England"
Birthplace: Paris, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Death: Died in Marlborough Castle, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Place of Burial: Grey Friars, London, Middlesex, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Philippe III le Hardi, roi de France; King Philip III of France; Maria of Brabant and Marie Of France
Wife of Edward I "Longshanks", King of England and Thomas De Botetort
Mother of Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl o Norfolk; Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent and Eleanor Plantagenet
Sister of Louis de France, Comte d’Evreux, de Meulan, de Gien et de Longueville and Blanche de France
Half sister of Louis de France; Philippe IV le Bel, roi de France; Robert de France; Charles of France, Count of Valois and N.N. de France

Occupation: 2nd Queen Consort of Edward I of England, Queen Of England, Queen of England
Managed by: Sally Gene Cole
Last Updated:

About Marguerite of France, Queen of England


Eleanor was born in Castile, now Spain, daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile and Joan, Countess of Ponthieu. Both the court of her father and her half-brother Alfonso X of Castile were known for its literary atmosphere. Growing up in such an environment probably influenced her later literary activities as queen. The young couple married at the monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos on 1 November 1254. Edward and Eleanor were second cousins once removed, as Eleanor's great-grandmother Eleanor of England was a daughter of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Arranged royal marriages in the Middle Ages were not always happy, but available evidence indicates that Eleanor and Edward were devoted to each other. Edward is among the few medieval English kings not known to have conducted extramarital affairs or fathered children out of wedlock. The couple were rarely apart; she accompanied him on military campaigns in Wales, famously giving birth to their son Edward on 25 April 1284 in a temporary dwelling erected for her amid the construction of Caernarfon Castle. Edward followed her body to burial in Westminster Abbey, and erected memorial crosses at the site of each overnight stop between Lincoln and Westminster. Based on crosses in France marking Louis IX's funeral procession, these artistically significant monuments enhanced the image of Edward's kingship as well as witnessing his grief. The best preserved is that at Geddington.That Edward remained single until he wed Marguerite of France in 1299 is often cited to prove he cherished Eleanor's memory.


The death of Edward's beloved first wife, Eleanor of Castile, at the age of 49 in 1290, left him reeling in grief. However, it was much to Edward's benefit to make peace with France to free him to pursue his wars in Scotland. Additionally, with only one surviving son, Edward was anxious to protect the English throne with additional heirs. In summer of 1291, the English king had betrothed his son and heir, Edward, to Blanche of France in order to achieve peace with France. However, hearing of her renowned beauty, Edward decided to have his son's bride for his own and sent emissaries to France. Philip agreed to give Blanche to Edward on the following conditions: that a truce would be concluded between the two countries and that Edward would give up the province of Gascony. Edward agreed to the conditions and sent his brother Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, to fetch the new bride. Edward had been deceived, for Blanche was to be married to Rudolph III of Habsburg, the eldest son of King Albert I of Germany. Instead, Philip offered her younger sister Margaret to marry Edward (then 55). Upon hearing this, Edward declared war on France, refusing to marry Margaret. After five years, a truce was agreed upon under the influence of Pope Boniface VIII. A series of treaties in the first half of 1299 provided terms for a double marriage: Edward I would marry Margaret and his son would marry Isabella of France, Philip's youngest surviving child. Additionally, the English monarchy would regain the key city of Guienne and receive £15,000 owed to Margaret as well as the return of Eleanor of Castile's lands in Ponthieu and Montreuil as a dower first for Margaret, and then Isabella of France.[3]

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Marguerite of France, Queen of England's Timeline

November 1, 1254
Burgos, Spain

Then, in 1252, Alfonso X resurrected another flimsy ancestral claim, this time to the duchy of Gascony, in the south of Aquitaine, last possession of the Kings of England in France. Henry III of England swiftly countered Alfonso's claims with both diplomatic and military moves. Early in 1254 the two kings began to negotiate; after haggling over the financial provision for Eleanor, Henry and Alfonso agreed she would marry Henry's son Edward, and Alfonso would transfer his Gascon claims to Edward. Henry was so anxious for the marriage to take place that he willingly abandoned elaborate preparations already made for Edward's knighting in England, and agreed that Alfonso would knight Edward before the wedding took place.

The young couple married at the monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos on 1 November 1254. Henry III took pride in resolving the Gascon crisis so decisively, but his English subjects feared that the marriage would bring Eleanor's kinfolk and countrymen to live off Henry's ruinous generosity. Several of her relatives did come to England soon after her marriage. She was too young to stop them or prevent Henry III from paying for them, but she was blamed anyway and her marriage was unpopular. Interestingly enough, Eleanor's mother was spurned in marriage by Henry III and her great-grandmother, Alys of the Vexin, was spurned in marriage by Richard I. However, the presence of more English, Frank and Norman soldiers of fortune and opportunists in the recently reconquered Seville and Cordoba Moorish Kingdoms would be increased, thanks to this alliance between royal houses, until the advent of the later Hundred Years War when it would be symptomatic of extended hostilities between the French and the English for peninsular support.

Paris, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
September 10, 1299
Age 20
Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent County, England
September 10, 1299
Age 20

The alliances between France and England proved volatile, and Edward was facing trouble at home at the time, both in Wales and Scotland. It was not until August 1297 that he was finally able to sail for Flanders, at which times his allies there had already suffered defeat. The support from Germany never materialised, and Edward was forced to seek peace. His marriage to the French princess Margaret in 1299 put an end to the war, but the whole affair had proven both costly and fruitless for the English

June 1, 1300
Age 21
Brotherton, Yorkshire, England
August 5, 1301
Age 22
Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England
May 4, 1306
Age 27
Winchester, Hampshire, , England
February 14, 1317
Age 38
Marlborough Castle, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
January 24, 1933
Age 38
January 24, 1933
Age 38