Elizabeth of Poland, Queen of Hungary
|Elizabeth of Poland|
Elizabeth of Poland with her sons
|Queen consort of Hungary|
|Died||29 December 1380|
|Spouse||Charles I of Hungary|
|Issue||Louis I of Hungary and Poland
Andrew, Duke of Calabria
Stephen, Duke of Slavonia
Charles of Hungary
Ladislaus of Hungary
|House||House of Piast|
|Father||Władysław I the Elbow-high|
|Mother||Jadwiga of Greater Poland|
She was a member of the Polish royal House of Piast, the daughter of Władysław I the Elbow-high, prince of Kujavia, later King of Poland, and Jadwiga of Greater Poland, she was the sister of Casimir III of Poland, who died in 1370. Her older sister was Cunigunde of Poland, who was married to Bernard of Świdnica.
Charles' two previous marriages are believed not to have left surviving issue, at least no surviving sons. Charles' first wife Maria of Bytom was believed to have been barren but it is also believed she bore two daughters: Catherine and Elizabeth. Others however believe that the two girls were daughters of Queen Elizabeth.
While at court in Hungary, Elizabeth is credited as having been the first to introduce perfume, then known as Hungary Water, to Europe and the western world.
Elizabeth and Charles Robert had five sons and possibly two daughters:
- Charles (1321)
- Ladislaus (Belgrade, 1 November 1324 – 24 February 1329)
- Louis I of Hungary (1326–1382)
- Andrew, Duke of Calabria (1327–1345)
- Stephen, Duke of Slavonia (1332–1354)
- Catherine (d. 1355)
- Elizabeth (d.1367), married Boleslaw Opolski, sister of Katherine and also possible daughter of Elisabeth of Poland.
Charles Robert died 16 July 1342.
Elizabeth wished to make a good marriage for her eldest surviving son, who ascended the Polish throne on her husband's death. She had her son betrothed to Margaret of Bohemia, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. They married in 1342 but the marriage didn't last because, seven years into the marriage, the fourteen-year-old Margaret died, childless. Elizabeth now needed for her son to remarry and produce and heir.
The branch of the Kuyavian Piast family was popular in Hungary, and several members lived in Louis' court. Elizabeth's influence extended far beyond any other queen consort, and years before, Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia, married Elizabeth of Kuyavia, the daughter of the Duke Casimir II of Kuyavia, Queen Elizabeth's cousin. Stephen II of Bosnia had a young daughter named Elizabeth, and after learning about her, the Hungarian queen insisted immediately on bringing her to the Hungarian court for fostering. Stephen was reluctant at first, but eventually dispatched Elizabeth. Three years later, Queen Elizabeth invited Stephen to Hungary and arranged a marriage between their children.
The queen mother was heir to her brother Casimir's throne after the death of their sister, Cunigunde. Her claim passed to Louis after the death of his two elder brothers. Casimir had married four times but none of his wives had given him surviving sons. He chose to leave Louis the crown of Poland thus Hungary and Poland being united under one monarch.
Elizabeth's second surviving son, Andrew, married Joan I of Naples. Andrew wished to be made king of Naples and rule jointly with his wife, but Joan refused. Pope Clement VI approved Joan's request to be crowned alone. Fearing for his life, Andrew wrote to his mother that he would soon flee the kingdom. She intervened and made a state visit; before she returned to Hungary, she bribed the Pope to reverse himself and permit Andrew's coronation. She also gave her son a ring, which was supposed to protect him from death by blade or poison, and returned with a false sense of security to Hungary. The ring didn't protect him; Andrew was soon assassinated by strangulation.
Louis was absent from Poland between 1370-1375. Elizabeth was made regent to conveniently eliminate her from his court. The Poles hated paying taxes and loved to quarrel among themselves and with the court, especially with the domineering Elizabeth. Her regency turned out to be a failure, her own Polish background notwithstanding. In 1376, the Poles killed 160 of her Hungarian bodyguards and Elizabeth escaped to Hungary lest she, too, be killed by her compatriots. Louis reconed with the rebels, and strengthened his power, at his mother's expense.
After her tragic regency and her return to Hungary, Elizabeth spent her final years in a monastery outside of Buda, where she wrote her will. It specifies her desire to rest in the monastery of Order of Saint Clare in Old Buda. Elizabeth also left money and possessions to her family: she left Louis several golden vessels, daughter-in-law, Elizabeth of Bosnia - Buda Castle, granddaughter, Mary - a gold wreath, granddaughter, Hedwig - wreath of lilies, and her niece, Hedwig - a ring. She also left money to some churches.
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Elisabeth's ancestors in three generations
Notes and references
Elizabeth of Poland, Queen of HungaryBorn: 1305 Died: 1380
Title last held byBeatrice of Luxembourg
|Queen consort of Hungary
Title next held byMargaret of Luxembourg