ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE, was one of the wealthiest and most influential women in Western Europe during the twelfth century. First, she was Queen of France (wife of Louis VII) and then Queen of England (wife of Henry II ). Her influence was decisive for important changes in political and cultural dynamics in Europe. She promoted “courtly love” in chivalry. She participated in the Second Crusade which was to her as a “revelation” of her political and strategic talents. She had ten children : two with Louis VII and eight [ three of whom would become kings ] with Henry II. She was imprisoned [ at 51 ] during sixteen years for supporting her sons’s conspiracy against their father, Henry II. She became a widow at 67 and was still able to rule her son’s kingdom, Richard the Lionheart, during the four years he spent in crusade and to act as a diplomat for her other son, John Lackland. In her eighties, she retired to a convent where she died at 82.
Copyright: Alice Labrèque and Jean Routier, Québec, 2012-2013.