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For Isabella of England, the daughter of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, see Isabella de Coucy.

Isabella of England, also called Elizabeth (1214 – 1 December 1241) was an English princess and, by marriage, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, and Queen consort of Sicily.

She was the fourth child but second daughter of King John of England and Isabella of Angouleme.

Wife of Frederick II

Betrothal

It was at a friendly meeting at Rietimarker where Pope Gregory IX suggested to Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, that he marry princess Isabella, a sister of Henry III of England. At first Frederick II was concerned to lose his French allies; but when he realised that an English marriage would end English support for his opponents, he agreed. The betrothal was formalized in Londonmarker on February 1235.

The beautiful Isabella was about twenty-one years old when she set out to marry the twice-widowed Emperor Frederick II, who was forty. On her way through Cologne, she delighted the local women when she removed the traditionally worn veil so that they could see her face.

Marriage and Death

Isabella.


The marriage between Isabella and Frederick took place in Worms Cathedralmarker on 15 or 20 July 1235; in the ceremony, she was also crowned Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Germany and Sicily. Her dowry was 30,000 marcs of silver (a considerable sum by that time) and she was granted the castle of Monte Sant'Angelo by her husband upon her marriage.

However, as soon as she was married she was introduced to the secluded harem life attended by black eunuchs. Their marriage had been a political match, and she was allowed to keep only two of her English women-attendants; the others were sent home.

Isabella lived in retirement at Noventa where her husband regularly visited her. When her brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, returned from the crusades, he was allowed to visit her, although Isabella was not allowed to be present at the official reception. While the imperial court resided at Foggiamarker, Isabella gave birth to her last child and died. She is buried beside Frederick's previous wife, Yolanda of Jerusalem, in Andria Cathedral, near Barimarker.

Issue

Primary sources are at variance concerning Isabella's issue, including the number of children she had, their names, and their birth order. What is known for sure is that Isabella had at least four children: a son who died shortly after his birth in 1236 or 1241, a daughter who - like her older brother - died shortly after her birth in 1237, Margaret, and Heinrich. Margaret is believed by some to have been the first child, and by others to be the child whose birth caused Isabella's death. The most common belief is that Margaret was the last child. The short-lived son of Isabella has been given the name of Frederick, Jordanus/Jordan, and Carl Otto by various sources. Some historians believe Isabella actually had five children, two short-lived sons instead of one, and that they were named Jordanus/Carl Otto and Frederick, the two being born in spring 1236 and summer 1240.

  • Frederick/Jordanus/Carl Otto (Spring 1236-1236)
  • Agnes (born & died 1237)
  • Heinrich (18 January 1238 - May 1254)
  • Margaret, landgravine of Thuringia (1 December 1241 – 8 August 1270)


Ancestors




Footnotes

References

  • Tuchman, Barbara W. (1978), A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century., Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1984. ISBN 0-394-40026-7.
  • pages 70 & 71





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