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JoanII

Stumbled across this story and was intrigued.

Joan II, Countess of Burgundy (1292 – 1330) was an heiress to Otto IV, and eventually became Queen Consort of France through her husband, Philip V.

In 1314, Joan’s sister Blanche and her sister-in-law Margaret were accused and convicted of adultery. Apparently they both had hot and heavy affairs with a couple of Knights. The scandal was labeled the Tour de Nesle Affair. The Tour de Nesle was a tower in Paris in which everything went down. Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

Joan was said to have known about the affairs and was placed under house arrest. It was also speculated that she too had an affair, but her husband denied this and stood by his wife. She insisted that she was innocent, and eventually got her name cleared in 1315. Some say that Philip only campaigned for her innocence as a way to hang on to Joan’s titles and lands. Mon dieu!

When King John I of France died, Joan’s husband became King Philip V of france, and Joan was crowned as Queen Consort. They had 3 children, but only their daughter, Joan III, Countess of Burgundy survived childhood.

When her father and brother passed away, she inherited the county of Burgundy and the County of Artois. Cha-ching. When she died, in 1330, her will ensured the founding of a college in Paris.

But more about the scandal (because that’s what we all want to read about)…

Blanche and Margaret were imprisoned and their lovers- Knights Gautier and Philippe were tortured and executed (and it was NOT pleasant… they were castrated, drawn and quartered and eventually hanged. ouch).

Blanche was kept in prison (at the Chateau Gaillard) for sometime and then forced into a convent, Margaret was kept imprisoned at the same place- but in an underground cell and died under suspicious circumstances. Her husband, Louis X married Clementia of Hungary five days later. If it makes you feel better – Louis died a year later after a game of tennis. Zut alors!

You can read more here: http://www.worldheritage.org/articles/Tour_de_Nesle_Affair

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