Margaret of Burgundy, Queen of France

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Margaret of Burgundy
Marketa pecet.jpg
Reproduction of Queen Margaret's seal
Queen consort of France
Queen consort of Navarre
Bornc. 1290
Died30 April 1315 (aged 24–25)
Château Gaillard, Normandy
SpouseLouis X of France
IssueJoan II of Navarre
FatherRobert II, Duke of Burgundy
MotherAgnes of France
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Margaret of Burgundy (French: Marguerite; 1290 – 30 April 1315) was Queen of France and Navarre as the first wife of King Louis X, although locked in prison during her whole French queenship.


Margaret was a member of the ducal House of Burgundy, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. She was the second daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy (1248–1306) and Agnes of France (1260–1327), the youngest daughter of Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence.[1]

In 1305, Margaret married her first cousin once removed, Louis I, King of Navarre, who in November 1314 ascended the French throne as Louis X of France.[2] They had one daughter, Joan (born 1312, died 1349).

Early in 1314, Margaret was allegedly caught in an act of adultery in the Tour de Nesle Affair. Her sister-in-law Isabella of France was a witness against her, and Margaret was imprisoned for the last two years of her life, along with her sister-in-law Blanche of Burgundy, even after she became Queen of France. Margaret was confined at Château Gaillard and after poor treatment caught a cold and died,[3] although another source states that she was strangled to death.[4]


Margaret's daughter, Joan, later became queen regnant of Navarre as Joan II (1311–1349). Her paternity was under doubt because of her mother's alleged adultery. On his deathbed Louis formally recognized Joan as his daughter.

In 1361, Margaret's succession rights became important in the premature death of Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (her grandnephew), since the closest Burgundian heirs were descendants of Margaret and of her sister, Joan the Lame. Margaret's grandson and heir Charles II of Navarre claimed the duchy on the basis of primogeniture, but Joan the Lame's son John II of France on the basis of proximity, being one generation closer to the Burgundian dukes. As king, John ruled in his own favor, and became Duke of Burgundy, later bestowing the Duchy upon his son, Philip the Bold.

In fiction[edit]

Margaret is portrayed in Le Roi de Fer and La Reine Étranglée, two 1955 novels in Maurice Druon's Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings) series of historical novels. She was played by Muriel Baptiste [fr] in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series, and by Hélène Fillières in the 2005 adaptation.[5][6]

Margaret appears as a pivotal character in the second season of the historical drama series Knightfall. She is portrayed by Clementine Nicholson.[7]


  1. ^ Anne Echols and Marty Williams, An Annotated Index of Medieval Women, (Markus Weiner Publishing Inc., 1992), 300.
  2. ^ Anne Echols, 300.
  3. ^ Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: Kings of France, 987-1328, (Continuum Books, 2007), 277.
  4. ^ Everett, Mary Anne (1851). Lives of the Princesses of England. 3. Henry Colburn. p. 118.
  5. ^ "Official website: Les Rois maudits (2005 miniseries)" (in French). 2005. Archived from the original on 15 August 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Les Rois maudits: Casting de la saison 1" (in French). AlloCiné. 2005. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Knightfall | TV Guide".
French royalty
Preceded by Queen consort of Navarre
Succeeded by
Preceded by Queen consort of France