Marguerite de Provence

Marguerite de Provence

Saint-Maime, Departement des Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Death 21 Dec 1295 (aged 73–74)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Saint-Denis, Departement de Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France
Plot Beneath the altar steps.
Memorial ID 87531315 · View Source
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Marguerite was the eldest daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy. On 27 May 1234 at the age of thirteen, Margaret became the queen consort of France and wife of Louis IX of France She was crowned on the following day. Margaret gave birth to eleven children.

Margaret, noted for her beauty, she was said to be "pretty with dark hair and fine eyes", and in the early years of their marriage she and Louis enjoyed a warm relationship.

Her Franciscan confessor, William de St. Pathus, related that on cold nights Margaret would place a robe around Louis' shoulders, when her deeply religious husband rose to pray. Another anecdote recorded by St. Pathus related that Margaret felt that Louis' plain clothing was unbecoming to his royal dignity, to which Louis replied that he would dress as she wished, if she dressed as he wished. Much of what is said about Margaret in such sources seems to be meant to display her in a questionable light, as vain glorious or immodest, in order to showcase her husband as a wise and pious king. In contrast, the chronicler Joinville, who was not a priest, reports incidents demonstrating Margaret's bravery and demonstrate Margaret's good humor.

In later years Louis became disturbed with Margaret's ambition. When it came to politics or diplomacy she was indeed ambitious, but somewhat inept. An English envoy at Paris in the 1250s reported to England, evidently in some disgust, that "the queen of France is tedious in word and deed," and it is clear from the envoy's report of his conversation with the queen that she was trying to create an opportunity for herself to engage in affairs of state even though the envoy was not impressed with her efforts.

Margaret accompanied Louis on his first crusade and was responsible for negotiations and ransom when he was captured. She was thus for a brief time the only woman ever to lead a crusade. After the death of Louis on his second crusade, during which she remained in France, she returned to Provence.

Margaret died at the age of seventy-four. She was buried near (but not beside) her husband in the Basilica of St-Denis outside Paris. Her grave, beneath the altar steps, was never marked by a monument, so its location was unknown; probably for this reason, it was the only royal grave in the basilica that was not ransacked during the French Revolution, and it probably remains intact today.
(Bio by Audrey DeCamp; the source of this information is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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