Isabella II of Jerusalem

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Yolande/Isabella II
DeathofYolande-Isabella.jpg
The death of Queen Isabella-Yolande (From MS of William of Tyre's Historia and Old French Continuation, painted in Acre, 13C. Bib. Nat. Française)
Queen of Jerusalem
Reign 1212 – 25 April 1228
Predecessor John and Maria
Successor Conrad II
Holy Roman Empress;
Queen consort of Sicily
Tenure 1225 – 25 April 1228
Spouse Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Issue
Conrad II of Jerusalem
House House of Brienne
Father John of Brienne
Mother Maria of Montferrat
Born c. 1212
Died April 25, 1228 (aged 15–16)
Andria, Italy
Burial Andria Cathedral

Isabella II (1212 – 25 April 1228) also known as Yolande of Brienne, was a princess of French origin who became monarch of Jerusalem.

Infant Queen[edit]

Isabella II was born in Andria, Italy, the only child of Maria of Montferrat, Queen of Jerusalem, and John of Brienne. Maria was the daughter of Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem by her second husband Conrad I, and heiress, on her mother's death, of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Maria died shortly after giving birth to her in 1212, possibly by puerperal fever. Because of this, Isabella II was proclaimed Queen of Jerusalem when she was only a few days old. Because her father John did not have a direct claim on the throne, he ruled as regent.

Marriage with Frederick II[edit]

Isabella II as Queen

Frederick II, King of Germany and Sicily, had involved himself broadly in the Fifth Crusade, sending troops from Germany, but he failed to accompany the army directly, despite the encouragement of the Popes Honorius III and later Gregory IX, as he needed to consolidate his position in Germany and Italy before embarking on a crusade. However, Frederick again promised to go on a Crusade after his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1220 by Honorius III.

During a meeting between John of Brienne, the Pope Honorius III and Frederick II in the city of Ferentino in 1223, Yolande's fate was decided: Frederick accepted to finally go to the Crusade, but only as the legitimate King of Jerusalem, and this was only possible if he agreed to take the young Queen Isabella II as his wife (by this time, Frederick was a widower). This was planned by the Pope, who hoped by this bond to attach the Emperor firmly to the Sixth Crusade. The betrothal was confirmed, but the Emperor still delayed his departure until August 1225, when he and Isabella were married by proxy in the City of Acre. Days after, Isabella II was crowned as Queen of Jerusalem.

The now crowned Queen was sent to Italy and married in person to Frederick II in the cathedral of Brindisi, on 9 November 1225. In the ceremony, he declared himself King Frederick of Jerusalem. Immediately Frederick II saw to it that his new father-in-law John of Brienne, the current Regent of Jerusalem, was dispossessed and his rights transferred to him. Despite his new capacity as King of Jerusalem, Frederick II continued to take his time in setting off, and in 1227, he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for failing to honour his crusading pledge.

Death[edit]

After the wedding, Isabella was kept in seclusion by her husband. She spent her time in Frederick's harem in Palermo. In November 1226, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter (referred to by some sources as Margaret); the baby died in August 1227. Frederick finally sailed from Brindisi on 8 September 1227 for Jerusalem but fell ill at Otranto, where Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia, had been put ashore. Frederick postponed the journey while he recovered. In the meantime Isabella died after giving birth to her second child, a son, Conrad, in Andria, Bari, on 25 April 1228. She is buried in Andria Cathedral. Frederick finally embarked to Jerusalem on 28 June.

Although he crowned himself as King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on 18 March 1229, he ruled as regent on behalf of his son, settling a truce with the Muslims in 1229 during the Sixth Crusade.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maria
Queen of Jerusalem
1212–1228
Succeeded by
Conrad II
Royal titles
Preceded by
Constance of Aragon
Queen consort of Sicily
1225–1228
Succeeded by
Isabella of England
Holy Roman Empress
Queen consort of Germany

1225–1228