Irene of Brunswick

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Irene of Brunswick
Byzantine Empress consort
Empress consort
Bornc. 1293
Died16/17 August 1324
SpouseAndronikos III Palaiologos
FatherHenry I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
MotherAgnes of Meissen
ReligionEastern Orthodox,
prev. Roman Catholic

Irene of Brunswick, born Adelheid, (c. 1293 – 16/17 August 1324) was the first wife of Andronikos III Palaiologos, and by marriage Empress of Constantinople, although she died before her husband became sole Emperor.

She was a daughter of Henry I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Agnes of Meissen. Her maternal grandparents were Albert II, Margrave of Meissen and Margaret of Sicily.

In March, 1318, she married Prince Andronikos Palaiologos. He was the eldest son of Michael IX Palaiologos and Rita of Armenia. Her father-in-law was at the time junior co-emperor with his own father, Andronikos II Palaiologos. She joined the Eastern Orthodox Church with her marriage and took the name Irene. They had a son (June 1320 – February 1322).

She died in Rhaedestos during the civil war between Andronikos II and Andronikos III from 1321 to 1328. Her husband claimed the throne for its duration, making her the empress to a rival emperor. Her husband proceeded to marry Anna of Savoy.


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Irene of Brunswick
Cadet branch of the House of Este
Born: c. 1293 Died: 1324
Royal titles
Preceded by
Rita of Armenia
Byzantine Empress consort
Succeeded by
Anna of Savoy