Constance of Sicily, Queen of Cyprus

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For other people named Constance of Sicily, see Constance of Sicily (disambiguation).
For other people named Constance of Aragon, see Constance of Aragon (disambiguation).
Constance of Sicily
Queen consort of Cyprus and Jerusalem
Queen consort of Armenia
Born 1304/1306
Died after 19 June 1344
Spouse Henry II of Cyprus
Leo IV of Armenia
John of Cyprus
House House of Aragon
Father Frederick III of Sicily
Mother Eleanor of Anjou

Constance of Sicily (1304/1306 – after 19 June 1344) was the oldest daughter of Frederick III of Sicily and his wife Eleanor of Anjou. She was married three times. From these marriages she gained various titles such as Queen of Cyprus, nominal Queen of Jerusalem and Queen of Armenia.

Family[edit]

Constance was one of the oldest of the eight children born to her parents. Her siblings included: Elizabeth, Duchess of Bavaria, Peter II of Sicily, Manfred of Athens and William II of Athens.

Constance's maternal grandparents were Charles II of Naples and his wife Maria of Hungary, daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman, who was daughter of Köten.

Her paternal grandparents were Peter III of Aragon and another Constance of Sicily, daughter of Manfred of Sicily, son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and Bianca Lancia.

Life[edit]

Constance was originally betrothed to Prince Robert, youngest son of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre.[1] The engagement was broken when Robert died young in the summer of 1308. King Philip sent Constance's father a sorrowful letter announcing the news. Here is an excerpt from the letter: "We are sure that your Majesty knows that the complicated negotiation about the intended marriage of the Princess Constance and our most beloved son Robert was designed to nurture perpetual peace and create an indissoluble union between our Royal Houses. But see, with what intense bitterness of heart we have to tell you this, destructive Death has lamentably snatched from us our son, whom we loved best of all. No fellow human being could be surprised if we were inwardly desolated by the sting of this bitter grief. But we give thanks to God that one of our own family, free of all stain, whom we have loved with our life, has been sent to Heaven."

Constance was married on 16 October 1317 to Henry II of Cyprus and Jerusalem, who was son of Hugh III of Cyprus. He was more than 30 years older than her. By this marriage Constance was Queen consort of Cyprus and Jerusalem. They were married for seven years until 31 August 1324 when Henry died. They had no children.

On 29 December 1331 Constance married her second husband Leo IV, King of Armenia. The Papal Dispensation was issued the same day. Leo was strongly pro-Western because he favoured a union of the Armenian and Roman churches, which deeply displeased the native barons. His marriage to Constance further aroused anti-Western sentiment and anti-Catholic sentiment in Armenia. Constance was Leo's second wife, as his first wife Alice of Korikos and her father Oshin were murdered on Leo's orders because Oshin had murdered Leo's aunt Princess Isabella to remove her from possibly inheriting Armenia. In Armenia, Constance was frequently ill, suffering from constant coughing, fatigue, and dizziness. The king also neglected her, and all of her pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

On 28 December 1341 Leo was murdered by his own barons. It was the day before the couple's tenth wedding anniversary. They had no surviving children.

Constance married her third and final husband John of Lusignan in 1343. This marriage was also childless. Constance's illness worsened and she died sometime after 19 June 1344, at the age of about 40. John remarried to Alice of Ibelin, by whom he had a son and heir, Jacques.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

Constance of Sicily
Cadet branch of the House of Barcelona
Born: circa. 1307 Died: after 19 June 1344
Royal titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Isabella of Ibelin
Queen consort of Cyprus
1317–1324
Succeeded by
Alix of Ibelin
Vacant
Title last held by
Alice of Korikos
Queen consort of Armenia
1331–1341
Vacant
Title next held by
Theodora Syrgiannaina