Beatrice of Provence


Beatrice of Provence

Beatrice of Provence (1234–23 September 1267, Nocera Inferiore) was the first wife and Queen of Charles I of Sicily.

The youngest daughter of Raymond Berenguer IV of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy, Beatrice was married on January 31, 1246 to Charles of France, Count of Anjou and Maine, the youngest brother of King Louis IX of France.

Raymond Berenguer, the Count of Provence and Forcalquier, had four daughters, but no sons. His eldest daughter, Marguerite, had married King Louis and was Queen of France; his second daughter, Eleanor, had married King Henry III of England, and his third, Sanchia, had married the wealthy Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry. King Louis IX's marriage to Marguerite had been arranged by his mother, Blanche of Castile, with the hopes that he would inherit Provence and Forcalquier when Berenguer died. Berenguer, however, left everything to Beatrice. James I of Aragon, in the hopes of uniting Provence and Toulouse, had planned to marry Beatrice but then her father died and the french court intervened, and got the pope to refuse the marriage.

When Berenguer had died on August 19, 1245, Beatrice became one of the most attractive heiresses in medieval Europe. When various suitors tried to seize her, her mother placed her in a safe fortress and secured the trust of its people, before going to the pope for his protection. Her mother agreed to the marriage between Beatrice to Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother to the french King. So Beatrice was married to Charles of Anjou in 1246 and would accompany him on the seventh crusade, which they left in 1250, and journeyed to Emporer Frederick II's court, to ask him to send the King of France, more men for his crusade, which he had to refuse because he needed his armies to fight the Pope. Which then forced them to go to Lyon, to meet with the Pope. When Charles and Beatrice finally returned to Provence , they found the county had broken out in open rebeliion, spurred on by Beatrice's mother .In November 1252, shortly after the rebels where defeated, Blanche of Castile died, and Charles and Beatrice went to Paris, where Charles co-ruled France with his brother, Alphonse.

When her sister Marguerite had publicly offended her in 1259, by not seating her at the family table, she claimed it was because Beatrice was not a Queen like her sisters, so she could not sit with the family. Marguerite had hoped to provoke her sister in treacherous behaviour so she would have a valid reason to invade Provence.Beatrice had gone to Charles and he reportedly told her " Be at peace, for I will shortly make thee a greater Queen than them".

She helped her husband raise an army, by calling on her Knights to her service, as well as the young men of France, and she also pledged all her jewels, so they would join her husbands army. Which she then help lead through the Alps to reach her husband in Rome , where they were crowned King and Queen consort of Sicily , Beatrice then chose the castle Melfi as their residence.

Charles and Beatrice had the following children:
* Louis (1248-1248 Nicosia)
* Blanche (1250-1269), married in 1265 Robert III of Flanders (1249-1322)
* Beatrice of Sicily (1252-1275), married in 1273 Philip of Courtenay (1243-1283), titular emperor of Constantinople
* Charles II of Naples (1254-1309), Count of Anjou and of Provence, King of Naples
* Philippe (1256-1277), prince of Achaïea, married in 1271 Isabella of Villehardouin (1263-1312), princess of Achaïea and Morea
* Robert (1258-1265)
* Élisabeth (1261-1300), married to Ladislaus IV of Hungary (1262-1290)

Beatrice, like her sisters was known for her beauty, a description of her said she "set men's hearts thumping and the fingers of troubadours to fevered twanging of lyres. Two of the balladists at the Provencal court were temporarily deprived of reason for love of the entrancing Beatrice", and like her sister Sanchia , she would eventually become a Queen before her death: Sanchia became 'Queen of the Romans' after the Earl of Cornwall was elected as King; Beatrice became Queen consort of Sicily, after that realm was bestowed upon Charles by the Pope.

ources

* [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/PROVENCE.htm#BeatriceCtssMCharlesISicilydied1285 Her profile in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley]

*http://epistolae.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/woman/69.html

*http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B000VQD7L2?filterBy=addFiveStar

*Four Queens, Nancy Golstone, 2007

*http://libro.uca.edu/chaytor/hac6.htm
*The Plantagenets, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Costain 1951


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