This month, a bit of history… on someone who really left his mark on the Bordeaux region and who influenced the wine trade… This is Eleanor of Aquitaine!
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Duchess of Aquitaine
She was born in about 1123 not far from Bordeaux, she is the descendant of the line of the Dukes of Aquitaine.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France
At the age of 15, she married in Bordeaux, with the future King of France Louis VII, on July 25, 1137. She gave birth to two daughters during this marriage. Eleanor followed King Louis VII on a crusade, from Constantinople to Asia Minor. At the turn of a trip she falls in ambush but manages to get out of it and she is found by her husband a few hours later. Thus they found hospitality with Eleanor's uncle, Raymond de Poitier the Duke of Antioch. The party is in full swing and the Queen is having a lot of fun but the King did not like it and later reproached her for her ambiguous proximity to her uncle, followed by extramarital rumors about Eleanor with her uncle. As a result, the King sought to repudiate it in 1152 by invoking a relationship between the two spouses. This relationship is proven in the fourth degree by the women of Burgundy. The marriage is therefore annulled.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of England
6 weeks after the repudiation of Eleanor by Louis VII, she was asked for her hand by Henri Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy, whom she had met a year earlier and whom she had also found very charming. The marriage took place the same year in 1152. Henry Plantagenet became King of England in 1154, and became Henry II, thus Eleanor, becoming the Queen of England. From this marriage will be born 8 children, 3 of whom will become King.
and meanwhile, in Aquitaine…
Meanwhile, Aquitaine, still belonging to Eleanor, became English. Trade between England and Bordeaux wines, which was already substantial, intensified and England became our main export country. The very pronounced taste of the English for Bordeaux wines was well established.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: her life in England
However, Henry II is very fickle and chains infidelities, which earns Queen Eleanor mood swings and arguments. It even pushes their children against their father by pushing them to ally with Scotland (which did not yet belong to Great Britain). Henry II later suspected Eleanor of being behind the death of his former mistress. He decides to lock up the Queen in a hold. She remained there for 16 years and was released when her son, Richard the Lionheart, replaced his father Henry II on the throne of England.
At the end of her life, Eleanor retired to the abbey of Fontevraud where she died in 1204 at the age of 81.
Eleanor will have marked the history of Bordeaux as well as the France and England!
See you soon for new news!