Eleanor

[Eleanor of Aquitaine] Duchess of Aquitaine, Queen of France, and Queen of England, born c.1122, died Fontevrault, Maine-et-Loire, France, 1204. She was the daughter of William X of Aquitaine and Ænor of Châtelheraut, and in 1137 was married to Louis VII of France, thus adding the whole of southwestern Gaul from the borders of Brittany and Anjou to the Pyrenees, to the French kingdom. In 1146, moved by the eloquence of Saint Bernard, she accompanied the king on the Crusade, after receiving the pope's blessing at Saint Denys. In 1152 at Beaugency their marriage was annulled on the plea of consanguinity by a church council under the presidency of Samson, Archbishop of Rheims, and that same year Eleanor married Henry, who had just succeeded his father as Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy. In 1154 he became King of England as Henry II and was crowned with his wife by Archbishop Theobald. Eleanor abetted her children in the great rebellion of 1173 for which she was imprisoned by her husband until his death, 1189. She then reigned as regent until the arrival of her son, Richard the Lion-hearted, from France and again held this position during his absence in the Holy Land. She continued to be prominent in public affairs until her retirement to the Abbey of Fontevrault. By Louis VII she had two daughters; by Henry, five sons and three daughters. Two of her sons, Richard and John, became kings of England and two of her daughters, queens, one of Castile and the other of Sicily.

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