Journal Article

Marriage as Tactical Response: Henry II and the Royal Wedding of 1160

L. Diggelmann

in The English Historical Review

Volume 119, issue 483, pages 954-964
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/119.483.954
Marriage as Tactical Response: Henry II and the Royal Wedding of 1160

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On 2 November 1160, at Neubourg in Normandy, a wedding took place that had significant consequences for the political status quo in England and France. The husband was Henry, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. The wife was Margaret, daughter of French king Louis VII. The event has received only passing interest in historical scholarship, and this article attempts a closer analysis of the political motivations that underpinned the marriage. It examines the consanguinity that existed between young Henry and Margaret (aged five and two at the time of their wedding) and the similarly close relationship in the contemporaneous third marriage of Louis VII, to Adela of Blois-Champagne. The author argues that the timing of Henry and Margaret’s marriage depended to a large extent on these complicated familial links and on Henry II’s ability to gain leverage from them. He also identifies a ‘tactical’ model of medieval marriage encompassing unions arranged as a response to political events (including other marriages) and as a method of confrontation with political rivals.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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