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Isabella of France

Isabella of France (1289–1358), queen of Edward II. The daughter of Philip IV of France, Isabella married Edward II at Boulogne in January 1308, soon after his accession. Infatuated by Piers Gaveston, Edward neglected her. Nevertheless, they produced four children. The future Edward III was born in 1312 and their last child, a daughter, in June 1321. The influence of the Despensers estranged her from her husband and in 1325 she took refuge in France, supported by her brother Charles IV. In 1326 she joined her lover, Roger Mortimer, in an invasion which easily swept away Edward's power. London rose in her favour, the Despensers were executed, Edward deposed in January 1327 and murdered at Berkeley castle in September 1327. For three years she and Mortimer ruled the country on behalf of the young Edward III. But in 1330 they were overthrown by a coup at Nottingham which had the king's support. Mortimer was at once executed, Isabella lived in comfortable retirement before entering a convent for her last years. She died at Hertford. As an adulterous queen, Isabella achieved a notoriety she scarcely deserved and remained for centuries material for saucy lampoons or parallels directed at later royal couples.

Sue Minna Cannon

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Isabella of France

Isabella of France (1389–1409), queen of Richard II. The second daughter of Charles VI of France, Isabella became second wife of Richard II in November 1396 as the basis for a rapprochement between England and France. She was only 7 at the time but commented: ‘they tell me that I shall be a great lady.’ Richard showered his child-bride with gifts and seemed to be genuinely fond of her, making some effort to learn French. But in May 1399 he left for Ireland and on his return was deposed by Henry of Bolingbroke. Richard's successor, as Henry IV, had some idea of marrying Isabella to Henry, prince of Wales, partly to avoid paying back her dowry, but she was returned to France in 1401. She married her cousin Charles, count of Angoulême, in 1406 but died in childbirth in September 1409 and was buried at Blois.

Sue Minna Cannon

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Isabella of France

Isabella of France (1292–1358) Queen consort of Edward II of England (1308–27), daughter of Philip IV of France. In 1325 she returned to France. In 1326 Isabella and her lover, Roger de Mortimer, launched a successful invasion of England, forced Edward to abdicate and assasinated him. In 1327, Edward and Isabella's son acceded to the throne as Edward III, who in 1330 executed Mortimer and banished his mother to a nunnery.

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