Friday, October 18, 2013

Isabella, duchess of Lorraine

File:Ambito francese - Isabella di Lorena, regina di Napoli.jpg

Ambito francese, 
Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze

Parents: Charles II, duke of Lorraine, and Margaret of the Palatinate
Date of Birth: 1400
House: Capet-Valois-Anjou
Spouse: René, king of Naples
Reign: 1431 – 1453
Predecessor: Charles II
Summary: It is an unfortunate fact that little is known about the actual 
role Isabella had in her own reign. Born the eldest daughter of the
 son-less Charles II of Lorraine and his wife Margaret, Isabella was 
destined to change the course of history for the duchy. But her father 
did not die until Isabella was thirty-one, and the duchess was already 
married to the ambitious René, duke of Anjou and future king of Naples. 
She married René in 1419 and with him produced four children 
including René's heir. Soon after the birth of her last surviving child 
and second daughter, Margaret, Isabella's father died and she became 
the suo jure duchess of Lorraine. As expected, her husband was crowned 
co-ruler and ruled suo uxoris throughout her life.

As duchess, Isabella did not entirely remain outside of politics. Her husband 
became king of Naples in 1435 and ruled the state for seven years before 
finally failing to win the support of the local populace. During that period, 
Isabella ruled her and René's French lands as regent and duchess. In 1434, 
she personally led an army to rescue René from Philip III, duke of Burgundy, 
when the quarrelsome duke imprisoned his rival for two years. Isabella 
also travelled to Naples in 1435 to secure support for the Neapolitan 
throne while her husband was imprisoned. Unfortunately for René, his 
imprisonment and subsequent ransom bankrupted him and directly led 
to his failure to secure Naples. For the last eleven years of Isabella's life, 
she ruled with her husband in Lorraine and his hereditary territories in 
France. The couple had no more children and René remarried after 
Isabella's death in 1453. Her eldest son, Jean, succeeded in Lorraine 
upon her death.
Date of Death: 28 February 1453
Successor: John II

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