Adela of Champagne

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Adela of Champagne
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Adela with Louis VII and Philip II
Queen consort of Franks
Tenure 1164–1180
Coronation 1164
Born c. 1140
Blois, France
Died 4 June 1206 (aged 65–66)
Paris, France
Spouse
Louis VII of France
(m. 1160; d. 1180)
Issue Philip II of France
Agnes, Byzantine Empress[1]
House Blois
Father Theobald II, Count of Champagne
Mother Matilda of Carinthia

Adela of Champagne (French: Adèle; c. 1140 – 4 June 1206), also known as Adelaide and Alix, was Queen of France as the third wife of Louis VII. She was the daughter of Theobald II, Count of Champagne, and Matilda of Carinthia, and was named after her grandmother, Adela of Normandy. She was regent of France in the absence of her son in 1190.

Life[edit]

Louis and Adela married on 13 November 1160, five weeks after his previous wife, Constance of Castile, died in childbirth. Queen Adela became the mother of Louis VII's only son, Philip II, and of the Byzantine empress Agnes.[2]

Adela was active in the political life of the kingdom, along with her brothers Henry I, Theobald V, and William of the White Hands. Henry and Theobald were married to daughters of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine.[3]

Adela and her brothers felt their position threatened when the heiress of Artois, Isabella of Hainault, married Adela's son Philip in April 1180. Adela formed an alliance with Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy, and Philip of Flanders, and even tried to interest Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. War broke out in 1181, and relations became so bad that Philip attempted to divorce Isabella in 1184.

Although her power decreased after the accession of Philip in September 1180, Queen Adela acted as regent in 1190 while Philip was away on the Third Crusade. She returned to the shadows when he returned in 1192 but participated in the founding of many abbeys.

Queen Adela died on 4 June 1206 in Paris, Île-de-France, France, and was buried in the church of Pontigny Abbey near Auxerre.

Family tree[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Garland, Lynda. Byzantine empresses: women and power in Byzantium, AD 527–1204. London, Routledge, 1999.
  2. ^ Gislebert of Mons' Chronicon
  3. ^ Women's Biography: Alix/Adela of Champagne, queen of France
French royalty
Preceded by
Constance of Castile
Queen of France
1164–1180
Succeeded by
Isabella of Hainault