Charles VI. Dame de la suite d’Isabeau de Bavière.
Maid of honor of the French Queen Isabeau de Bavière in the reign of King Charles VI. 15th century.
Isabeau de Bavière ( probably 1370-1435) was a Princess of Bavaria from the House of Wittelsbach. On 17 July 1385 she was married in Amiens to the French King Charles VI, who was also still a youth, and was Queen of France until his death in 1422. Isabeau had twelve children with Charles VI.
Isabeau’s young husband had already followed his father Charles V to the French throne as a twelve-year-old boy. Isabeau largely kept a low profile on the political stage during the years of Charles VI’s accession to the throne and enjoyed life as a French queen. While the people starved, her penchant for luxury caused considerable resentment.
In 1392, the first signs of mental disorders were noticed in Charles VI and only a year later he had to be declared unfit to rule. Queen Isabeau was now declared regent, but again had the regency council of the three dukes at her side, in which the energetic Philip of Burgundy played the leading role.
At the same time, however, the king’s younger brother, Louis, Duke of Orléans, laid claim to power. This led to the formation of two parties at the French court around 1400: the Orleanists, who supported Louis’ claim to power, and the Bourguignons around Duke Philip.
There was no agreement in this dispute, so that the conflict reached its temporary climax with the assassination of the Duke of Orléans in 1407. The mastermind of the assassination was well known: John the Fearless, the new Duke of Burgundy. Nevertheless, it was not possible to hold him personally responsible for this assassination, as he could count on a strong ally at his side: the regent Isabeau, who in the meantime had come to a high position of power with her influence on the mentally ill Charles VI.
Source: Costumes historiques de ville ou de théatre et travestissements. Author: Achille Devéria and José Domínguez Bécquer. Publisher Paris: Goupil et Vibert 1831. Publisher London: Charles Tilt 1839. Printed by: Lemercier & Cie.