Sophie (age 7) & Ellie (age 5) tell of Eleanor of Aquitaine. But Eleanor has been Queen of France. Now she becomes Queen of England.
This is the second in our series about Eleanor of Aquitaine. But you don't need to have listened to the last episode to enjoy this one. Last week we learned how 800 years ago Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, married the King of France. But she didn’t much like him. He was unhappy they didn’t have a son. So they divorced.
But no one expected what happened next. Eleanor married the dashing young pretender to the English throne. His name was Henry and he was ten years younger than her. The French King was furious. With Eleanor's help Henry took the throne of England. Now he was King of England and ruler of most of France. Eleanor was his Queen.
Furthermore, it turned out that Eleanor could have sons after all. Lots of them. She had eight children, four of them boys. For years she raised them. Then she set up her own Court. The Court of Love with minstrels and knights and her ladies in waiting.
Meanwhile, Henry got himself a girlfriend. Eleanor did not like that. Their children were also angry with Henry. He kept treating them like children even though they were quite grown up. They all rebelled against Henry. But Henry was a skilled General. He defeated Eleanor and his sons. He forgave his sons but put Eleanor in prison for 15 years.
She was only released when her son Richard became King. She then supported her son Richard and later her son John.
We tell how her story is ignored by many later writers like the Disney film Robin Hood because often women are ignored in history.
She died aged 81 years old and is remembered today as one of the greatest women in history.
If you liked this episode about Eleanor of Aquitaine you might also like our Matilda episode. It’s set around the same time in history with knights and castles. and tells you what is happening in England while Eleanor of Aquitaine is married to the King of France. It’s a another story about a powerful woman.
You might also like to try our Jousting with the Royal Armouries episode. We made it with the world famous Royal Armouries in England. We tell the story of knights, tournaments and jousting. All the sorts of things that Eleanor and her knights and nobles enjoyed.
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