Middle Ages for Kids
The Middle Ages was a time of kings, princes, castles, knights, and lords. Although women weren't officially allowed by the church to be leaders or monarchs, many women still held power. A few even became monarchs and led their countries. Here are a few of the most famous queens from medieval times.
Good Queen Maude (1080 - 1118)
Good Queen Maude was also known as Matilda I of Scotland. She was the queen consort of King Henry I of England. Queen Maude was known for her charity work with the poor and the sick. In many cases she personally helped to care for the sick. She also established two hospitals for lepers.
Empress Matilda (1102 - 1167)
Matilda was married to Henry V the Holy Roman Emperor. She was both the Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Germany. She was also the daughter of King Henry I of England. When her father died, she became the first female monarch of England in 1141.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 - 1204)
Eleanor of Aquitaine became queen of France when she married King Louis VII. She was a powerful and involved queen. She took part as a military leader during the Second Crusade traveling to Constantinople and Jerusalem. In 1152, Eleanor had her marriage with King Louis VII annulled and then married Henry II, the duke of Normandy. Two years later, in 1154, Henry II became king of England and Eleanor was now queen of England. Eleanor was a devious queen and worked with her sons in a plot to overthrow her husband. She was imprisoned until her husband died and her son Richard I became king.
Isabella of France (1295 - 1358)
Isabella of France was the daughter of King Philip IV of France. She became queen of England when she married King Edward II of England. Isabella was beautiful and smart. She began to grow tired of Edward II. She gathered a small army from France and removed Edward II from the throne. Then she put her son, Edward III, on the throne ruled the country as regent.
Margaret I of Denmark (1353 - 1412)
Margaret I of Denmark was Queen of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. She was the founder of the Kalmar Union which united the three countries under a single rule. Under Margaret's rule, the region experienced a time of peace and prosperity. She reformed the currency of Denmark and contributed to charity to help the poor.
Margaret of Anjou (1430 - 1482)
Margaret of Anjou became queen of England through her marriage to King Henry VI. She was a leader of the House of Lancaster during the Wars of the Roses. When King Henry VI went insane, Margaret took over as leader of England and led the fight against Henry's enemies. She even led the king's army in some battles against the House of York.
Isabella I of Castile (Spain) (1451 - 1504)
Perhaps the most influential and powerful of all the women of the Middle Ages was Isabella of Castile. Together with her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, she united all of Spain under one rule. She also completed the Reconquista, ousting the Moors from Spain. Isabella ruled Spain for over 50 years and is famous for funding Christopher Columbus' voyage to the Americas.
Elizabeth of York (1466 - 1503)
Elizabeth of York is famous for her many relations to the English crown. She was queen of England through her marriage to King Henry VII. She also was the daughter, sister, niece, and mother of English kings. Elizabeth was famous for her beauty. Her picture is thought to be the one used as the Queen in a deck of playing cards.
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