Scandinavian Queen. She was the consort monarch of King Magnus VII of Norway, who also was Magnus IV of Sweden, and belonged to the Dampierre-sur-l'Aube Dynasty of Namur, now in Belgium. She was born at the Citadel of Namur in the heart of Walloon country, the daughter of Count Regnant John I. Her mother, Marie d'Artois, belonged to the French royal family. In 1334 the young King Magnus came all the way from the north to find his bride. (Sweden didn't give a princess back to Belgium for another 600 years when Queen Astrid was married to King Léopold.) The following year, Blanche went to Sweden with a large continental entourage and formally married Magnus, and in 1336 the two were crowned at Stockholm Cathedral. In the 1330's Blanche's Mistress of the Court was a relative of her husband's, Birgitta Birgersdotter, who later moved to Rome and became famous as St. Bridget. Because of the royal couple's disagreements with the Roman church and with their own nobility, Bridget turned against them and they were subjected to some of the most severe criticism ever leveled at a king and queen anywhere. Most modern historians agree that there was an economic and political agenda behind these "revelations from God" that smeared Magnus as being sexually perverted, Blanche as murderous and both as adulterous. The queen tried to mediate in her husband's struggle with King Waldemar Otherday of Denmark whose daughter finally married her younger son Hacon. Blanche and Magnus went to Copenhagen for the wedding festivities in 1363, where several guests took ill. Blanche was among them, and she died up in Norway later that year. She and the king had traveled widely on horseback throughout Scandinavia for nearly 30 years, but they were ruined financially by their trouble with the church and other debts, as can be seen in the surprisingly sparse list made of Blanche's worldly goods when she died. Some tradition has the site of her grave as unknown, whereas a good case has also been made for this now long defunct convent church in Oslo.
Bio by: Count Demitz