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Eleanor of Aquitaine (Poitiers, 1122 - Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, April 2 3 1, 12044) was a French medieval noblewoman and from 1137 in her own right Duchess of Aquitaine and Guyenne and Countess of Gascony.
Eleanor could seem to his contemporaries the most conventional of the queens of england, Nothing could be further from the truth.
Not only had she provided for her first husband, Louis VII of France, with large territories, but with a vast lineage. During the Second Crusade, in which she insisted on accompanying her husband, He remained in Antioch at the court of his uncle Raymond of Poitiers.
Faced with rumors of a too intimate relationship between uncle and niece, the legitimacy of the descendants of the King of France began to be called into question. And with the disagreements in the royal marriage, the crisis of the military campaign also came.
Louis VII and Eleanor they got their marriage annulled because of their relationship and, shortly after, Eleanor married Henry II of England.
As Eleanor's consecutive pregnancies prevented her from participating in political life, Enrique's greatest female influence was his mother Matilda and, only after the death of the empress, did Eleanor position herself as a political force.
By 1167, much of Normandy and England formed a single empire. Enrique had united these territories based on force and political strategies and had won the rebellion against his brother Godfrey. It only remained to distribute these territories among their children.
While, Eleanor maintained dominion over Aquitaine in the absence of Henry, gaining vassals and power over the years.
In 1173, Eleanor had not yet enjoyed the power that her husband had promised her, and although she did enjoy some authority in her duchy, in practice, true control was far from falling into her hands.
Henry III, heir to England, Normandy and Anjou
By then his son Henry III He had already been named heir to England, Normandy, and Anjou, and when Count Ramon paid tribute to the future king, Aquitaine became dependent on the crown, something that disgusted his vassals and the queen.
For this reason, gathered military support in Aquitaine, among deserters from her husband's lands and among her own children, to set out to conquer those lands that were beyond her control due to the government of Enrique.
However, the king turned out to be a great rival for his queen and the contest led to a peace treaty in 1174 that gave them the power they wanted so much. But nevertheless, for Leonor that meant living in prison until Enrique's death.
Little news reached his cell, until, more than a year after the death of his son and heir to the throne in 1183, Leonor returned to court to meet her children.
Ricardo and control over Aquitaine
So, Richard, as the future heir to England, Normandy and Anjou, he wanted reaffirm your control over Aquitaine instead of handing it over to his younger brother and he faced his father's military forces.
If he granted Aquitaine to his mother, he would still inherit the duchy, but then his father would also have the right to claim the lands. Leonor would still have to be patient to play her cards. At least, until the death of Henry II in 1189.
Until then, Leonor was free and enjoyed her own autonomy. While her son Richard was absent, the queen ruled in his name.
Behind the coronation of the new kingLeonor stayed with her son and was involved not only in the various court affairs, but in doing everything in her power to help Ricardo in his battles and thus preserve his power.
But nevertheless, Leopold V of Austria he captured Ricardo in 1193 on his return to England. Eleanor received her son's request to collect a ransom and negotiations for his release soon began, which would not occur until 1194.
During this year, the position of Leonor was of vital importance, and Ricardo not only had to face his captivity, but also the attempts of his brother Juan and Philip II of France to take away the throne.
Eleanor remained in the abbey of Fontevraud without presenting opposition to the decisions of her son, who would continue to strengthen his control over territories and quell revolts until his death in 1199.
For Eleanor, it was indisputable that the kingdom would now pass into the hands of her other son, John I of England, who required the presence of his mother at the head of an army directed against Anjou.
He faced threats against his son and the Duchy of Aquitaine, supported him in his marriage to Elizabeth of France, and advised him on political and strategic issues.
Leonor never gave up, still tired and ill, without fear of what might happen to her.
He died in 1204 at 82 years of ageAfter the empire her husband had built crumbled in the hands of her son, but she was always remembered as the mother of the kingdom of England and the watchful guardian of her beloved Aquitaine.