Eleanor of Aquitaine

Part II

Queen of England
Following Eleanors return from the Holy Land and the blighted Crusade and marriage, she was beset with suitors, wealthy, powerful men hoping to make her their wife! She married Henry, Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy in 1152. (Women during those times could not remain unmarried.) Her new father-in-law was Geoffrey of Anjou and she was reputed to have had an affair with him!
This was the start of the ‘Plantagenets’, a well known period of time in English Royalty (not known for their bonhomie!) It was said that Geoffrey of Anjou inspired the word ‘Plantagenet’ by planting a sprig of broom (Genet) into his helmet during battle so he could be easily spotted by his troops so prooving he was still alive, ‘plante a genet’!
Well, back to Eleanor! Within two years she and Henry were crowned King and Queen of England following the death of King Stephen. This marriage was slightly more successful than the last although they argued often. She produced 8 children and had considerable influence in her husbands matters, however, they separated in 1167 probably due to her husbands increasing number of affairs!
In 1168 She established her Court in Poitiers, the legendary ‘Court of Love’ advocating, loyalty, chivalry, poetry and culture. Sadly the court lasted only 5 years, it did not survive Eleanors capture and imprisonment at the hands of her husband Henry!

Vocabulary:

Holy Land: The area around Jerusalem.
Blighted: (Maledicte) When bad things happen to a thing or project.
Beset: (Assaillir) Set upon, inundated, lots of people trying to get their way.
Suitors: (Soupirant) A man trying to persuade a woman to marry him.
Father-in-law: (Beau-pere) Your husbands father.
Bonhomie: French word adopted by English. Goodnatured, friendly.
Sprig: Small piece of a plant.
To be spotted: To be seen by someone.
Back to…..: Let’s return to the subject!
Affairs: (Liason) Relationship with a person other than your spouse.
Advocating: (Recommander) Supporting or encouraging something
At the hands of….. Carried out by….

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