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MARGARET OF PROVENCE (1221-1295)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 704 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARGARET OF PROVENCE (1221-1295), queen of France, was the daughter of Raymond Berenger V., count of Provence. She was married to Saint Louis at Sens on the 27th of May 1234, and was crowned the next day. Blanche of Castile, the queen-mother, arranged the marriage to win over to the cause of France the powerful count of Provence, but treated her daughter-in-law most unkindly, and her jealousy of the energetic young queen was naturally shared by Louis, whose coldness towards and suspicion of his wife are well known. Margaret did not lack courage, she followed the king on his crusade, and bore herself heroically at Damietta. But her ambition and strong personal prejudices often led her to actions injurious to the realm. This is most noticeable in her hostility to her brother-in-law Charles of Anjou, who had married her sister Beatrice, and her devotion to Henry III. of England, who had married her other sister Eleanor. Aspiring during the reign of her son to the same role which she had seen Blanche of Castile play, she induced, in 1263, the young Philip, heir to the throne, to promise to obey her in everything up to the age of thirty; and Saint Louis was obliged to ask for a bull from Urban IV. which would release the prince from his oath. After Saint Louis' death, Margaret continued obstinately to claim her-rights on the county of Provence against Charles of Anjou. She sought to employ force of arms, calling upon her son, her nephew Edward II. of England, and the German king Rudolph of Habsburg. She did not give up her claim until after the death of Charles of Anjou (1285), when Philip the Bold succeeded in getting her to accept an income from the county of Anjou in exchange for her rights in Provence. She died on the 31st of December 1295. See E. Boutaric, Marguerite de Provence, in Revue des questions historiques (1867), pp. 417-458.
End of Article: MARGARET OF PROVENCE (1221-1295)
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