Royal Household: Love and Scandal

If we travel back to the Middle Ages, marriages were less of love, but more about politics.  Marriage below your rank was frowned upon, yet these did take place.

Catherine de Valois married Henry V, part of an agreement in the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, intended to end the “Hundred Years War.” She bore Henry a son; Henry VI who would inherit the thrones of England and France.

With the death of Henry V in August 1422, Henry VI was appointed Regent, and Catherine had no part in the affairs of the state, on behalf of her son.

Catherine, former Queen of England, would require the consent of the adult King, should she wish to remarry.

Parliament had not expected, this Queen Consort of the royal household, to cause a scandal, by having a liason, with her steward, Owen Tudor, and to make matters worse, had four children.

Parliament, viewed this as a disgrace in royal circles, however one of her sons, Edmund, married a Lancastrian heiress; Margaret Beaufort, founding the Tudor Dynasty.

Catherine de Valois was banished for her indiscretion, with one of a lower rank, and died aged 35.

Owen Tudor remained a servant within the House of Lancaster, and was executed by Yorkists, following the “Battle of Mortimer’s Cross.”

Wife of King Henry V: Catherine of Valois

Catherine of Valois was born on the 27th October 1401 at the Royal Palace of the Hotel Saint-Pol in Paris, to parents King Charles VI of France and Isabelle of Bavaria.

On the 2nd June 1420 Catherine of Valois married King Henry V of England, and on the 23rd February 1421 was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey.

Thomas, the Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry died in France.  Henry went to France in June 1421, to avenge his death.

Queen Catherine bore Henry V a child on the 6th December 1421 at Windsor, and he was named Henry.

Henry V died on the 31st August 1422 in France, sadly never had the chance to meet his son.  King Charles VI of France died shortly thereafter, leaving Henry VI King of England and France.

Catherine was still young, a source of concern for Humphrey, the Duke of Gloucester and Lord Protector to the young King.

In 1427-1428 Parliament passed a bill, that Queen dowager, needed the King’s permission to re-marry, otherwise the groom would forfeit all his lands and possessions.

Catherine had a relationship with one Owen Tudor, and bore him six children.

On the 3rd January 1437. Catherine died and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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