Blanche of Navarre (1331-1398).
Blanche of Évreux, also known as Blanche of Navarre (1333 – Neaufles-Saint-Martin,- 5 October 1398), was Queen consort of France as the second wife of Philip VI.
She was the daughter of Joan II of Navarre and Philip III the Noble, granddaughter of Count Louis of Évreux, great-granddaughter of Philip IV of France. She became Queen consort of France as the second wife of Philip VI.
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On 1 July 1345 an alliance was signed between Castile and France whereby the French King Philip VI would support Castile against the Muslims in the south of the peninsula in exchange for the powerful Castilian navy supporting France against England in the recently begun Hundred Years’ War. To secure this alliance, Blanca of Navarre was promised in marriage to the Castilian heir, Peter of Castile (1334-1369).
But the alliance with Castile did not come to fruition and Blanche married Philip VI of Valois, the recent widower of Joan of Burgundy, in Paris on 19 or 29 January 1349 (depending on the sources). He would have been subjugated by the beauty of the young princess, whose age was forty years younger than the king, and who was considered the most beautiful princess of her time. But their union was short-lived as the king died six months after their marriage, of amorous exhaustion according to some.
Pregnant, she gave birth to a daughter, Jeanne, also called Blanche (May 1351 – 16 September 1371). The widowed queen retired to Neaufles-Saint-Martin near Gisors. Attempts were made to re-negotiate a marriage with King Peter I of Castile in an attempt to secure the alliance that had been negotiated for years, but Blanche refused on the grounds that the widowed queens of France traditionally did not remarry.
Appearing at the court of France only on a few occasions, she retained the esteem of John II the Good. Blanche died on 5 October 1398 and was buried in the abbey of Saint-Denis.
Source: Costumes historiques, de la ville ou de théâtre et travestissements. Author: Achille Devéria (French, 1800–1857) and José Domínguez Bécquer. Publisher Paris: Goupil et Vibert 1831. Publisher London: Charles Tilt 1839. Printed by: Lemercier & Cie. Editorially restored.
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