On This Day

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Queen of France and England and Duchess of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine

Profession: Queen of France and England and Duchess of Aquitaine


Why Famous: One of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages, Eleanor of Aquitaine was the most eligible bride in Europe during her tenure as the Duchess of Aquitaine. She married the King of France, Louis VI, and became Queen consort of France, and took part in the Second Crusade.

After 15 years of marriage, she was granted an annulment, which Louis agreed to as the marriage had not produced a son. Almost immediately after she became engaged to the future Henry II of England, with whom she had five sons, three of whom became king: Richard the Lionheart, Henry the Young King and King John.

Her husband would imprison her during a revolt by their son Henry, and she would not be released until her son, Richard, ascended the throne. She lived well into the reign of her son, John.

Died: April 1, 1204

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1152-03-21 In one of the most expensive divorces in history, French King Louis VII is granted an annulment from Eleanor of Aquitaine on the grounds of consanguinity (being from the same kinship as another person)
  • 1152-05-18 Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Henri of Anjou, handing the future King Henry II of England most of France, allowing future kings of England to claim France for centuries thereafter

Famous Queens