I admit it, I am totally a (historical) royals geek. Of course, I understand that royalty are just people, some of whom aren’t very interesting or nice. But especially when I was younger, I read numerous “Queens of England” books and biographies of various queens. I always think about doing social media theme days with images of different queens, then get disappointed when I realize that there aren’t enough movies/TV series to make it worthwhile. I did the English queens in three posts, now I have to do the French!
BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT, I am consciously skipping these people who are worthy of (or already have) their own posts:
- Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Catherine de’ Medici
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Margaret of Valois
- Anne of Austria
- Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon
- Marie Antoinette of Austria
- Joséphine de Beauharnais
- Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
- Marie Thérèse of France
- Eugénie de Montijo
I’m mostly working with Wikipedia data here, so if you know of a movie or TV series that has included any French queens, please feel free to add it in the comments! If they’re not listed here, it’s because I can’t find any onscreen portrayals. Also, I don’t wanna hear any bitching about the term “lesser.” I mean “less frequently depicted.” Breathe.
Radegund of Poitiers (c. 539-61)
A Thuringian princess, she was one of six wives of Clotaire I, king of the Franks. She founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross at Poitiers.
Fredegund (c. 545-597)
Born into a low-ranking family but married Chilperic I, the Merovingian Frankish king of Soissons. She has a bad reputation (deserved?) and was “put aside” for another woman by her husband, but after his death served as regent for her son from 584-97.
She was played by Diane Delor in L’Enfant des loups (1991). I can’t find a photo…
Hildegard of the Vinzgau (771-83)
The daughter of Count Gerold of Kraichgau, she was the second wife of Charlemagne.
Anne of Kiev (1051-60)
Daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, she married Henry I. She served as regent for her son from 1060-65, and founded St. Vincent Abbey in Senlis. I can’t find an even vaguely-contemporary image of the real deal!
Blanche of Castile (1223-26)
Daughter of Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, she married Louis VIII. She was involved in politics and organized armies in support of her husband multiple times. She served as regent for her son during his minority (1226-34) and again when he was on Crusade (1248-52).
Margaret of Provence (1234-70)
Daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence, she married Louis IX. Her sisters were also queens: Eleanor of England, Sanchia of Germany, and Beatrice of Sicily. She joined her husband on crusade and was very politically active.
Margaret of Burgundy (1305-15)
Daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy, she married Louis X of France and I of Navarre. She was caught up in a scandal when she and her sisters-in-law were accused of committing adultery in the “Tour de Nesle affair,” and she spent the last two years of her life in prison. I can’t find an even vaguely-contemporary image of the real deal! Maybe because she was considered a hoooor?
Clementia of Hungary (1315-16)
She was the daughter of Charles Martel of Anjou, the titular King of Hungary, although she was born and grew up in Naples. She was the second wife of Louis X of France/I of Navarre, who died shortly after their marriage while she was pregnant (the baby died). She continued to be active in royal life in Paris thereafter.
Joan II, Countess of Burgundy (1315-30)
She was the daughter of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy, and Mahaut, Countess of Artois. She married Philip V and ruled as Countess of Burgundy and Countess of Artois. She was implicated as possibly knowing about the adultery that happened in the “Tour de Nesle affair” and was imprisoned as a result, but eventually her name was cleared.
Blanche of Burgundy (1322)
Sister of Joan II of Burgundy, she was the daughter of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy. She married the future Charles IV, and was yet another accused of adultery in the “Tour de Nesle affair.” She was imprisoned until her death. Yet another for whom I can’t find an even vaguely-contemporary image of the real deal – again, maybe because of potential hoor-dom.
She was played by Anne Malraux in Les Rois maudits (2005), but I can’t find any images.
Joan of Burgundy aka Joan the Lame (1328-49)
Daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy, she married Philip IV; she had some kind of limp, hence the nickname. She served as regent while her husband fought on campaign, and was a scholar.
She was played by Claude Gensac in Gaston Phébus, le Lion des Pyrénées (1978), but I can’t find any pics.
Tune in next week for the second half of my French queens run-down!