Philippa of Hainault

Philippa of Hainault

Infobox British Royalty|majesty|consort
name =Philippa of Hainault
title =Queen consort of England

caption =
reign =January 24, 1328 - August 15, 1369
spouse =Edward III
issue =Edward, the Black Prince
Isabella, Lady of Coucy
Joan of England
Lionel, 1st Duke of Clarence
John, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Edmund, 1st Duke of York
Mary, Duchess of Brittany
Margaret, Countess of Pembroke
Thomas, 1st Duke of Gloucester
royal house =Plantagenet
titles ="Her Grace" The Queen
Lady Philippa of Hainault
father =William I, Count of Hainaut
mother =Joan of Valois
date of birth =birth date|1311|6|24|df=y
place of birth =Valenciennes
date of death =death date and age|1369|8|15|1311|6|24|df=y
place of death =Windsor Castle
place of burial =Westminster Abbey|

Philippa of Hainault (June 24 1311 – August 15 1369) was the Queen consort of Edward III of England.


Philippa was born in Valenciennes (then in Flanders, now France) and was the daughter of William I, Count of Hainaut and Jeanne of Valois, the granddaughter of Philip III of France.

She married Edward at York Minster, on 24 January, 1328, eleven months after his accession to the English throne and, unlike many of her predecessors, she did not alienate the English people by retaining her foreign retinue upon her marriage or bringing large numbers of foreigners to the English court.

Philippa accompanied Edward on his expeditions to the Kingdom of Scotland (1333) and Flanders (1338-40), where she won acclaim for her gentleness and compassion. She is best remembered as the tender-hearted woman who interceded with her husband and persuaded him to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais (1346) whom he had planned to execute as an example to the townspeople following his successful siege. She acted as a regent on several occasions when he was on the continent.

Philippa had grown portly in her later years, and this added to the view most of her English subjects had of her as a friendly, homely, motherly woman whom the nation greatly loved. Philippa outlived 9 of her 14 children; two of whom were lost during the Black Death outbreak (1348).

On 15 August 1369 Philippa died of an illness akin to dropsy in Windsor Castle, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. By all accounts, her 40 year marriage to Edward had been happy, despite his taking a mistress, Alice Perrers, during the later part of it.


Philippa and Edward had fourteen children, including five sons who lived into adulthood and whose rivalry would eventually bring about the long-running civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Their sons are listed below:

*Edward, the Black Prince (1330-76)
*Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-68)
*John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (1340-99)
*Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York (1341-1402)
*Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1355-97)

Another three sons and two daughters died in infancy. There were four surviving daughters, listed below:

*Isabella of England (1332-1379)
*Joan of England (1334-1348)
*Mary Plantagenet (1344-1362)
*Margaret Plantagenet (1346-1361)


Through her children, Philippa reintroduced the bloodline of an earlier English King, Stephen, into the royal family. She was descended from Stephen through Matilda of Brabant, the wife of Floris IV, Count of Holland. Their daughter Adelaide of Holland married John I of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut, Philippa's paternal great-grandfather. Matilda of Brabant in turn was the great-granddaughter of Stephen through her mother Matilda of Boulogne, the wife of Henry I, Duke of Brabant.

Philippa was also a descendant of Harold II of England through his daughter Gytha of Wessex, married to Vladimir II Monomakh of Kiev. His bloodline, however, had been reintroduced to the English royal family by Philippa's mother-in-law, Isabella of France, a granddaughter of Isabella of Aragon, the wife of Philip III of France. Isabella of Aragon's mother, Violant of Hungary, was a daughter of Andrew II of Hungary, a grandson of Géza II by Euphrosyne of Kiev, herself a granddaughter of Gytha. Through her maternal great-grandmother, Maria of Hungary, she was descended from Elisabeth of Bosnia (born before 1241), a daughter of Kuthen, Khan of the Cumens and his Slavic wife, Galicie of Halicz, thus bringing Western Asian blood into the English royal line. [ bt Leo Van de Pas.]

The Queen's College, Oxford is named after Philippa. It was founded by one of her chaplains, Robert de Eglesfield, in her honour.



*Salmonson, Jessica Amanda.(1991) "The Encyclopedia of Amazons." Paragon House. page 212. ISBN 1-55778-420-5
* page 92
* pages 185 & 186 by Leo Van de Pas

ee also

*Counts of Hainaut family tree
*Counts of Holland family tree


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