‘Eleanor, by the Wrath of God Queen of England’

Jean Flori and Olive Classe

in Eleanor of Aquitaine

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780748622955
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651382 | DOI:
‘Eleanor, by the Wrath of God Queen of England’

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The Archbishop of Rouen, Walter of Coutances, was ostensibly charged by Richard I to work with William Longchamp, but really he was to keep an eye on him. Eleanor of Aquitaine's role as regent, assisted by Walter, now became even more important than before. This chapter notes in passing, though, that she had to have a man beside her, first William Longchamp and then Walter of Coutances, able to take decisions and enforce them. It was unthinkable at that time that government should be entrusted ‘officially’ to a queen, even one of Eleanor's character and quality. The chapter also argues that while suspicious of John, Eleanor sought first and foremost to preserve the dynastic heritage for her sons and to prevent King Arthur from becoming a candidate for the succession should Richard I not beget an heir. The events described here, then, foreshadow to a certain extent those that followed the King's death some years later.

Keywords: Walter of Coutances; Richard I; William Longchamp; Eleanor of Aquitaine; John; King Arthur

Chapter.  11790 words. 

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