Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine Conquering Overwhelm

Monday, 26th October 2009

A queen who lived through high periods of drama and chartered the course of overwhelm was Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her second husband became an Angevins King of England, Henry II (1154-89). With her marriage to Henry II, she brought with her the land of Aquitaine, which added considerably to Henry’s vast continental empire.
Eleanor of Aquitaine was well known for her fiery personality. She let nothing stop her. Not her previous marriage to King Louis VI of France that had been annulled on grounds of consanguinity. Not the fact that she was Henry’s senior by eleven years and they had a tempestuous marriage with eight children in fifteen years—five sons and three daughters. Oh, and not the fact that England was in civil war while she and Henry persevered.
Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine survived the death of her oldest son, who died 11 June 1183 of a fever in France. Her son had been raging war against her other son, Richard. The contention in the family didn’t stop there. The queen wasn’t innocent in the turmoil. When her husband separated from her, actively involved in affairs, she incited a rebellion against the king through her sons. This bold action of conspiracy against the king ended with her being put under house arrest at Winchester for sixteen years, although captivity did not extinguish Queen Eleanor’s ambition. Her husband died 6 July 1189, at age 56, from injuries sustained from being thrown by a horse. Queen Eleanor continued to live for many more years, dying at age 82. After her husband’s passing, Eleanor became actively involved in her son Richard’s taking the throne and arranging for his marriage to Berengaria of Navaue.
Her long life is a testimony to the fact that she learned to rise above the family drama and not allow stress to stop her.
Another signal that she mastered overwhelming events was the fact that she played a major role in the 12th century, which is extremely impressive considering that at the time medieval women were considered nothing more than chattel.

One of the ways Eleanor thrived through the chaos was by capitalizing on her smarts, enterprising nature, and beauty. Eleanor rose to her high position by maintaining a lofty royal vision of herself, which she held onto steadfastly.

2 Comments to 'Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine Conquering Overwhelm'

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  1. Yamile said:

    Eleanor is one of my favorite characters ever. She was incredible, and so was Harry, her husband. What a couple! They’re story, even when they hated each other, is amazing.

    Thu 5th November, 2009 at 12:15 am
  2. lisa said:

    I love the story too. What a feisty couple! Have you seen the movie on it? It is a lot of fun to watch.

    Thu 5th November, 2009 at 1:09 am

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