Marie d'Anjou

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Marie d'Anjou, Queen of France

Marie d'Anjou (born October 14, 1404 in Angers ; † November 29, 1463 in the Abbey of Les Châtelliers (today's Deux-Sèvres , France )) was the wife of Charles VII from 1422 Queen of France.


Marie d'Anjou was the eldest daughter of Louis II , Duke of Anjou and Titular King of Sicily , and his wife Jolanthe of Aragón . On her father's side, she was the great-granddaughter of the French King John II the Good . She had five siblings, including Ludwig III. of Anjou and René I of Anjou .


After preliminary discussions, Jolanthe of Aragón visited the French Queen Isabeau at the Hotel Barbette in Paris on December 8, 1413 . The engagement of the queen's third eldest son, later Charles (VII), to the nine-year-old daughter of Jolanthes, Marie, was agreed. The young couple's engagement ceremony was celebrated on December 18, 1413; in it took u. a. the bride's parents and the French queen attended. Her husband Charles VI. was unable to attend the festival due to his mental condition. As a result, Jolanthe took her future son-in-law with her to her court in Angers for some time and was to continue to exert great influence on him in the future. On the other hand, Charles VII's passion for Marie was apparently never particularly great, and it never played a role politically either. In 1417, after the death of his two older brothers, Charles VII Dauphin and Marie became heir apparent.

Early marriage years in the shadow of the Hundred Years War

The situation in France at that time was extremely confusing and dangerous due to the Hundred Years War and intra-French power struggles. When the Burgundian troops invaded Paris on the night of May 28, 1418, Marie d'Anjou hid in the Hotel de Bourbon for several months. 1420 Karl (VII.) By his parents deprived of the right of succession, which is now on the English King Henry V passed. At that time he was allied with the Burgundian Duke Philip the Good and the French royal couple and together with them controlled the whole of northern France. Charles VII stayed on his possessions, v. a. Berry , Touraine and Poitou , limited. In April 1422, at Bourges , he married his fiancée, who was one year younger than him, Marie, who was then 18 years old.

After the death of Charles VI. and Henry V (1422), Duke John of Bedford vigorously defended the battle for the French crown for the only one-year-old English King Henry VI. During this uncertain time, Marie gave birth to the heir to the throne Ludwig (XI) as the first of her numerous children in July 1423 . Only the appearance of Joan of Arc († 1431), supported by Marie and her mother Jolanthe, brought a change in favor of Charles VII, who was crowned on July 17, 1429 in Reims . Because of the dangerous situation, his wife did not take part in this ceremony, but her presence was not necessary because of the generally low political importance of the French queen. She was crowned on a smaller scale some time later. In 1435 the Duke of Burgundy terminated his alliance with England, which significantly strengthened the position of Charles VII. In the following years he was able to gradually recapture most of his empire.

Queen without political influence

On November 12, 1437, Marie made her solemn entry into Paris at the side of the king. Politically it still played no role. Most of her time she spent raising her many children. In addition, she initially enjoyed reading chivalric novels; later she also read edifying literature. With this in mind, the court chaplain Robert Blondel dedicated his allegorical treatise Les douze Périls d'Enfer (“The twelve dangers of hell”) to her. Since her youth, the Queen, who like her husband was very pious, took part in many pilgrimages, practiced charitable works and supported the Church. She founded a public hospital in Bourges.

When his mother-in-law Jolanthe died in 1442, Charles VII began an affair with a lady-in-waiting of the queen, Agnès Sorel , who rose to become the first official mistress ( maîtresse en titre ) of a French king. Her position and influence put the queen in the shade. After the alleged poisoning of the Dame de Beauté (1450), other, less influential favorites followed. The queen endured her husband's mistress economy with resignation. She often lived apart from him and kept her own farms. Her favorite residences were Chinon and Tours . For the last years of Charles VII's reign, it can be proven that their court rulings - modeled on the king - were quite expensive.

Widowhood and death

When her husband died (July 22, 1461), Marie was not at his side. Now her eldest son was named Ludwig XI. new king and queen widow retired to their estates in Amboise. She was only to outlive her husband by two years.

In 1463, Marie wrote to the Burgundian Duke Philip the Good to be allowed to participate in his planned crusade to the Orient. A very pious man went to her husband's court a few years ago and recommended that the king take part in a crusade. But Charles VII did not follow the invitation and now she wants to take on this task herself. Philip the Good politely complied with her request. But before the king's widow could fulfill her oath, she fell ill. On her way back from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, she arrived seriously ill at the Abbey of Les Châtelliers in Poitou, where she died on November 29, 1463 at the age of 59. She was buried at the side of her husband in the cathedral of Saint-Denis .

When the royal tombs of Saint-Denis were sacked during the French Revolution , her grave was opened and looted on October 17, 1793, and her remains were buried in a mass grave outside the church.


The following children emerged from Marie's marriage to Charles VII:

  • Louis XI. (July 3, 1423 - August 30, 1483), King of France
  • Johann (* 1425, † 1425)
  • Radegunde (* 1425?, † March 19, 1445), fiancé of Archduke Siegmund the rich in coins of Austria
  • Katharina (* 1428; † July 13, 1446), wife of Duke Charles the Bold
  • Jakob (* 1432, † 1437)
  • Yolande (born September 23, 1434, † August 28, 1478), wife of Duke Amadeus IX. of Savoy
  • Johanna (* 1435, † 1482), wife of Duke Johann II of Bourbon
  • Philipp (* 1436, † 1436)
  • Marguerite (* 1437, † 1438)
  • Johanna (7 September 1438, † 26 December 1446)
  • Marie (7 September 1438, † 14 February 1439)
  • Magdalena (born December 1, 1443, † January 21, 1495), wife of Gaston de Foix , Prince of Viana
  • Charles (* December 28, 1446, † May 24, 1472), including Duke of Normandy


Web links

Commons : Marie d'Anjou  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office Successor
Isabeau Queen of France
Charlotte of Savoy