Joan of Kent

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Joan of Kent, princess of Wales (c.1328–85). Joan was a daughter of Edmund, earl of Kent (d. 1330), and succeeded as countess in 1353. While considerably under age, she secretly married Thomas Holand. In his absence in Prussia, she soon contracted a second marriage with the earl of Salisbury; this was annulled nine years later, in 1349. Within a year of Holand's death, this reputed beauty married Edward the Black Prince and accompanied him to Gascony, where their sons Edward (d. 1370) and Richard ( II) were born. Widowed again in 1376, Joan had charge of Richard's upbringing until his accession, and is believed to have remained a restraining influence upon him. A popular figure, she was well received by turbulent Londoners and humble rebels, while John of Gaunt and John Wyclif benefited from her kindly intervention.

R. L. Storey

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