Yolande of Jerusalem

Yolande of Jerusalem

"For Isabella of England, the daughter of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, see Isabella de Coucy."

Infobox German Royalty|majesty|consort
name= Yolande/Isabella II
title= Holy Roman Empress; Queen consort of the Romans and Sicily; Queen regnant of Jerusalem

caption = The death of Queen Isabella-Yolande (From MS of William of Tyre's "Historia" and "Old French Continuation", painted in Acre, 13C. Bib. Nat. Française.)
reign= 1212 – 25 April 1228
1225 - 25 April 1228
reign-type = Reign
predecessor = John and Mary
successor = Conrad II
spouse= Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
issue = Conrad II
royal house= House of Hohenstaufen
father= John of Brienne
mother= Maria of Montferrat
date of birth= 1212
place of birth=
date of death= 25 April, 1228
place of death= Andria, Italy
place of burial= Cathedral of Bari

Yolande of Brienne (b. 1212 - d. Andria, Italy, 25 April 1228), also known as Yolanda or Isabella II of Jerusalem, was a princess of French origin who became Queen of Jerusalem.

Infant Queen

Yolande was the only child of Maria of Montferrat, Queen of Jerusalem, and John of Brienne. Maria was the daughter of Queen Isabella of Jerusalem by her second husband Conrad I, and heiress, on her mother's death, of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Maria died shortly after giving birth to her in 1212, possibly by puerperal fever. Because of this, Yolande was proclaimed Queen of Jerusalem when she was only a few days old. Because her father John did not have a direct claim on the throne, he ruled as regent.

Marriage with Frederick II

Frederick II, King of Germany and Sicily, had involved himself broadly in the Fifth Crusade, sending troops from Germany, but he failed to accompany the army directly, despite the encouragement of the Popes Honorius III and later Gregory IX, as he needed to consolidate his position in Germany and Italy before embarking on a crusade. However, Frederick again promised to go on a Crusade after his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1220 by Honorius III.

During a meeting between John of Brienne, the Pope Honorius III and Frederick II in the city of Ferentino in 1223, Yolande's fate was decided: Frederick accepted to finally go to the Crusade, but only as the legitimate King of Jerusalem, and this was only possible if he take the young Queen Yolande as his wife (by this time, Frederick was a widower). This was planned by the Pope, who hoped by this bond to attach the Emperor firmly to the Sixth Crusade. The betrothal was confirmed, but the Emperor still delayed his departure until August 1225, when he and Yolande were married by proxy in the city of Acre. Days after, Yolande was crowned as Queen of Jerusalem.

The now Crowned Queen was sent to Italy and married in person with Frederick II in the cathedral of Brindisi, on 9 November 1225. In the ceremony, he declared himself King Frederick of Jerusalem. Immediately Frederick II saw to it that his new father-in-law John of Brienne, the current King-Regent of Jerusalem, was dispossessed and his rights transferred to him. Despite his new capacity as King of Jerusalem, Frederick II continued to take his time in setting off, and in 1227, he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for failing to honor his crusading pledge.


Since the wedding, Yolande was kept in seclusion by her husband. She spent her time in Frederick's harem in Palermo. In November 1226, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter (called by some sources as Margareta); the baby died in August 1227.

Frederick finally sailed from Brindisi on 8 September 1227 for Jerusalem but fell ill at Otranto, where the Landgrave Ludwig IV of Thuringia had been put ashore and postponed his journey while he recovered.

In the meanwhile Yolande died after giving birth to her second child, a son, Conrad, in Andria, Bari on 25 April 1228. She was buried in the Cathedral of Bari. Frederick finally embarked to Jerusalem on 28 June.

Although he crowned himself as King of Jerusalem in the Holy Sepulchre (18 March 1229), he ruled as regent on behalf of his son, settling a truce with the Muslims in 1229 during the Sixth Crusade.



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