Blanche of Namur (d. 1363)

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Blanche of Namur (d. 1363)

Queen of Sweden and Norway. Name variations: Blanca of Namur; Blanka of Namur. Died in 1363; daughter of John, count of Namur; married Magnus II Eriksson or Erikson (1316–1374), king of Sweden (r. 1319–1356, 1359–1365), king of Norway as Magnus VII (r. 1319–1350), in 1335; children: Erik XII (c. 1339–1359), king of Sweden (r. 1356–1359); Haakon VI (c. 1339–1380), king of Norway (r. 1355–1380); and three daughters (names unknown).

In 1335, Magnus II Eriksson, king of Norway and Sweden, married Blanche of Namur, and, by 1340, they had two sons. Erik (XII), the elder, would be king of Sweden; the younger son, Haakon (VI), would become king of Norway. The boys' governess in the early years, and Blanche's lady-in-waiting, was Bridget of Sweden . As the brothers grew to manhood and ascended their thrones, relations between Magnus Eriksson and his sons were marked by turbulence, jealousy, and aggression. In 1362, when Erik died, Haakon was named as his brother's successor in Sweden; he was to rule jointly with his father. The two kings then entered into a war with their powerful neighbor Waldemar IV of Denmark over rights to Skaane. During this war, Magnus and Haakon enlisted the aid of the Hanseatic League, a powerful alliance of German cities with trading interests in northern Europe. Shortly thereafter, in 1363, Magnus and Haakon arrived at an agreement with Waldemar. The friendship was cemented by the marriage of the 23-year-old Haakon with Waldemar's 10-year-old daughter Margaret (I) (1353–1412), who would be one of Scandinavia's greatest monarchs, reigning from 1387 to 1412.