Sunday, October 11, 2015

Joan of Kent, First Princess of Wales

From TudorQueen6:
The Prince of Wales became affectionate towards the Countess of Kent. It is said that even the Prince had fallen for her charm earlier in his lifetime, but that his parents did not approve. Nevertheless, it seems that their marriage was one of love. Although his parents did not approve of the match (they most likely wanted him to marry a foreign Princess to forge some sort of alliance between England and another European country). Although Joan had been a favored ward of the King and Queen, the Countess’s living ex-husband was an issue when it came to inheritance. The secret marriage the Prince of Wales and Countess of Kent are said to have contracted in 1360 would have been invalid anyway because of the consanguinity prohibition (they were first cousins, once removed). At the King’s request, the Pope granted a dispensation allowing the two to be legally married. The official ceremony occurred on 10 October 1361, at Windsor Castle with the King and Queen in attendance. The Archbishop of Canterbury presided.

The couple had two children, Edward of Angoulême and Richard of Bordeaux (later King Richard II). The eldest died around age 6 while the couple was ruling in Bordeaux as Prince and Princess of Aquitaine. The couple returned to England in 1371 where the plague had become an issue. Edward was a Prince who enjoyed fighting and was usually pre-occupied with some campaign. In 1371, he attempted one final campaign to regain his father’s French possessions. On 7 June 1376, he died at Westminster, a week before his forty-six birthday. Joan’s son by the Prince, young Richard, became heir to his grandfather Edward III. Edward died circa a year after his son and Richard was crowned King at the age of ten. (Read more.)

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