Isabella of Hainault
|Isabella of Hainault|
|Queen consort of France|
|Tenure||28 April 1180–15 March 1190|
|Coronation||28 May 1180|
|Spouse||Philip II of France|
|Issue||Louis VIII of France|
|House||House of Flanders|
|Father||Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut|
|Mother||Margaret I, Countess of Flanders|
5 April 1170|
|Died||15 March 1190
|Burial||Basilica of St Denis|
Isabella was born in Valenciennes on 5 April 1170, the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, and Margaret I, Countess of Flanders. At the age of one, her father had her betrothed to Henry, the future Count of Champagne. He was the nephew of Adèle of Champagne, who was Queen of France. In 1179, both their fathers swore that they would proceed with the marriage, but her father later agreed to her marrying Philip II of France.
Queen of France
She married King Philip on 28 April 1180 at Bapaume and brought as her dowry the county of Artois. The marriage was arranged by her maternal uncle Philip, Count of Flanders, who was advisor to the King.
Isabella was crowned Queen of France at Saint Denis on 28 May 1180. As Baldwin V rightly claimed to be a descendant of Charlemagne, the chroniclers of the time saw in this marriage a union of the Carolingian and Capetian dynasties.
The wedding did not please the queen mother, since it had meant the rejection of her nephew and the lessening of influence for her kinsmen. Though she received extravagant praise from certain annalists, she failed to win the affections of Philip due to her inability to provide him with an heir; although she was only 14 years old at the time. Meanwhile, King Philip in 1184, was waging war against Flanders, and angered at seeing his wife's father, Baldwin, support his enemies, he called a council at Sens for the purpose of repudiating her. According to Gislebert of Mons, Isabella then appeared barefooted and dressed as a penitent in the town's churches and thus gained the sympathy of the people. Her appeals angered them so much that they went to the palace and started shouting loud enough to be heard inside.
Finally, on 5 September 1187, she gave birth to the needed heir, the future King Louis VIII of France.
Her second pregnancy was extremely difficult; on 14 March 1190, Isabella gave birth to twin boys named Robert and Philip. Due to complications in childbirth, Isabella died the next day, and was buried in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. She was not quite 20 years old and was mourned for greatly in the capital, since she had been a popular queen.
The twins lived only four days, both having died on 18 March 1190. Her son Louis succeeded her as Count of Artois. Isabella's dowry of Artois eventually returned to the French Crown following the death of King Philip, when her son Louis became king.
"Queen Isabelle, she of noble form and lovely eyes." In 1858, Isabelle's body was exhumed and measured at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. At 90 cm from pelvis to feet, she would have stood about 5'8"-5'9", (1.72-1.75 m) tall. It was during this exhumation that a silver seal was discovered in the queen's coffin. Little used during her life time, it is one of the few medieval seals with a royal connection to survive from the Middle Ages.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
|Ancestors of Isabella of Hainault|
- Note:Some online sources such as Charles Cawley's Medieval Lands give her birthdate as 23 April 1170 and her birthplace as Lille
- Nolan. p. 79. Missing or empty
- Cawley: Medieval Lands
- British Museum Collection 
- Cawley, Charles, Isabelle de Hainaut, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012,[better source needed]
- Nolan. p. 83. Missing or empty
- Christian Bouyer, Les reines de France, Perrin, 1992
- Nolan. p. 87. Missing or empty
- From the Chronique rimee of Philippe Mouskes
- Cawley, Charles, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Missing or empty
|title=(help),[better source needed]
- Nolan, Kathleen D. Capetian Women, 2003.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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