Philippa of Hainault

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Philippa of Hainault
Queen consort of England
Tenure 24 January 1328 – 15 August 1369
Coronation 4 March 1330
Spouse Edward III of England
Issue
Edward, the Black Prince
Isabella, Lady of Coucy
Joan of England
William of Hatfield
Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York
Blanche of England
Mary, Duchess of Brittany
Margaret, Countess of Pembroke
Thomas of Windsor
William of Windsor
Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester
House House of Plantagenet
Father William I, Count of Hainaut
Mother Joan of Valois
Born 24 June 1314(1314-06-24)
Valenciennes
Died 15 August 1369(1369-08-15) (aged 55)
Windsor Castle
Burial Westminster Abbey

Philippa of Hainault (24 June[1] 1314 – 15 August 1369) was the queen of Edward III of England.

Philippa was the daughter of William I, Count of Hainaut, nicknamed the Good, and Joan of Valois, the granddaughter of Philip III of France.[2]

King Edward II wanted an alliance with Flanders to benefit England. He sent Bishop Stapledon to choose a good wife for Prince Edward. He chose Philippa who was about eight years old at that time. Four years later Philippa was betrothed to Prince Edward.

Philippa married Edward at York Minster, on 24 January 1328. This was eleven months after he was made King. The real rulers of the kingdom were his mother, Queen Dowager Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. They jointly acted as his regents. The couple lived at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire. PHilippa was crowned queen on 4 March 1330 at Westminster Abbey. She was almost six months pregnant.[3] She gave birth to her first son, Edward, the following June just nine days before her sixteenth birthday.

In October 1330, King Edward began to rule. He ordered the arrest of his mother and Mortimer. Mortimer was killed for treason. Queen Dowager Isabella was sent to Castle Rising in Norfolk, where she spent the rest of her life.

Philippa went with Edward on his trips to Scotland, and the European continent in his early campaigns of the Hundred Years War. She acted as regent in England on several times when her husband was away from his kingdom.

On 15 August 1369, Philippa died of an illness similar to dropsy in Windsor Castle at the age of fifty-five. By all accounts, her forty-year marriage to Edward had been happy. Even though he had an affair with her lady-in-waiting, Alice Perrers, during the later years.

The Queen's College, Oxford is named after Philippa. It was founded in 1341 by one of her chaplains, Robert de Eglesfield, in her honour.

References[change | edit source]

  1. David Williamson, Debrett's Kings and Queens of Britain, p.81, Webb and Bower Publishers, Ltd., London, 1986
  2. Leese, Thelma Anna, Blood royal: issue of the kings and queens of medieval England, 1066-1399, (Heritage Books Inc., 2007), 140.
  3. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Kings of England, Edward III, retrieved on 10 March 2010