Blanche of Castile
Queen of France and very nearly of England, Blanche of Castile was a beautiful, fascinating woman and a wise and able ruler whose personality and political power dominated Western Europe in the first half of the thirteenth century. She was the granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the mother of France's only canonized king, Louis IX, and it was her efforts that led to the great victory over England at the Battle of Bouvines. Her husband, Louis VIII died after three years on the throne, leaving Blanche as regent during her sons minority from 1226 until 1234. Due to her shrewd combination of diplomacy, beating her enemies to the punch, and her influence on Louis IX, kept a whole France for him to inherit on her death.
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