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Continuing on with Medieval Queens…

Margaret of Anjou (1430 – 1482) was the Queen Consort of England from 1445 to 1461 as the wife of King Henry VI.

She is a very complicated woman to study. I can’t quite tell if she was the power-hungry, relentless witch some describe her as – or – she was a strong woman who did the best with the hand she was dealt. Hmmmm. Leaning towards the latter.

She played a major role in the War of the Roses as the leader of the Lancastrian forces. Henry VI was mentally unstable, so Margaret took over control. She led her followers into a battle that they would eventually lose to the Yorkists, in an effort to assure her son Prince Edward would inherit the thrown. Edward of Lancaster would not get the chance, as he died in the Battle of Tewkesbury, making him the only heir apparent to the English throne to die in battle.

After losing the war and her son and her husband, Margaret was arrested. Louis of France eventually paid for her release in exchange for all of her lands. She died in complete poverty in Anjou, but not without leaving her mark on history. Evidence shows that she was highly intelligent, strategic, and knew how to play the political (bullshit) games. Bravo Margaret. Bravo.

“[Margaret] arrived there poor and alone, destitute of goods and all desolate; [she] had neither credence, nor money, nor goods, nor jewels to pledge. . . . Her body was clad in one single robe, with no change of clothing.”

— Georges Chastellain, describing Margaret’s arrival as a refugee at Sluys in 1463.
From  The Wars of the Roses by J. R. Lander