Henry II of England Marries Eleanor of Aquitaine 1152

Sunday, May 18, 1152

 

On the 18th of May 1152 the nineteen year old, future Henry II of England, marries Eleanor of Aquitaine at Poitiers. Eleanor had divorced Louis VII of France a few weeks earlier, and being a wealthy heiress was in danger of being kidnapped and forced into marriage. On her way south from Fontevrault attempts to kidnap her were made by Louis of Blois, and Geoffrey of Anjou (Henry's younger brother). Eleanor managed to make her way to Poitiers and once there sent word to Henry in Normandy. The pair were married at the cathedral of St Pierre.1

 

Eleanor and Henry had eight children between 1153 and 1166, seven of which survived to marry.

 

In 1173 their eldest surviving son Henry "the young king", rebelled against his father and sought help from his father-in-law Louis VII of France. His brothers Geoffrey and Richard, were living with Eleanor who encouraged them to join their brother in what was to become known as the Rebellion of 1173-74. Following the defeat of the rebellion Henry II had Eleanor locked up for the next 16 years.

 

 

  • 1. The stained glass is from the late 12th century and depicts Eleanor and Henry as donors of the Cathedral's East window.