Birthday: February 28, 1155
Emperors & Kings
Died At Age: 28
Sun Sign: Pisces
Born Country: England
Born in: London, England
Famous as: King of England
Spouse/Ex-: Margaret of France, Queen of England and Hungary (m. 1172)
father: Henry II, King of England
mother: Duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor
siblings: Duchess of Saxony, John, King of England, Matilda of England, Richard I of England
children: William of England
Died on: June 11, 1183
place of death: Martel, France
City: London, England
Cause of Death: Dysentery
Henry the Young King was the titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, and Count of Anjou and Maine. He was the eldest surviving son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. After the death of his elder brother, William, he was declared his father’s successor in England, Normandy and Anjou. From 1170, he was the titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, and Count of Anjou and Maine. He was the first king of England to be crowned during his father’s reign after a long period in the nation’s history. However, he was frustrated by his father’s refusal to grant him significant autonomous power. He was married to Margaret of France. His only child was born prematurely and died within a few days. Henry passed away at the young age of 28 during the course of a campaign, six years before his father’s death. His brother Richard became the next king.
Early Life & Coronation
Prince Henry was born on 28th February 1155, in London. His parents were King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Very little is known about his life before his marriage and coronation.
He was crowned as the king in June 1170, when he was only fifteen years of age. This practice was originally practiced by the French Capetian dynasty, and later adopted by the English kings. He became known as ‘Henry the Young King’, to distinguish him from his father. However, since he never reigned, he is not counted in the numerical succession of kings of England.
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Henry played a significant role in politics during his father’s reign. He was betrothed to Margaret of France on 2nd November 1160. She was the daughter of King Louis VII of France and Constance of Castile, his second wife. He was only five years old during his betrothal, while she was two. They got married formally on 27th August 1172, at Winchester Cathedral, when Henry, at the age of seventeen, was crowned the king of England for the second time.
Henry the Young King eventually fell out with his father in 1173, allegedly due to his frustration that his father had given him no realm to rule, despite being named the king. The rebellion drew further strength from his discontent over his father’s rule. He was soon joined by a formidable party of Anglo-Norman, Norman, Angevin, Poitevin and Breton magnates. The revolt which took place between 1173 and 1174 almost toppled the king, though he was narrowly saved by a party of nobles who had holdings on the English side of the channel. After the defeat and capture of the King of Scotland, William I, Henry decided to seek reconciliation.
In November 1179, he represented his father at the coronation of Philip Augustus as the associate king of France at Reims. He not only acted as the steward of France, but also carried the crown in the coronation procession. He also played an important role in the celebratory tournament, which was held at Lagny-sur-Marne.
With his wife Margaret, he had only one child, William, who was born prematurely on 19th June 1177. He died after just three days.
In 1182, he fell out with William Marshal, the leader of his tournament mesnee, as it was alleged that Marshal had an affair with his wife. Margaret was sent back to the French court the next year.
Later Years & Death
Henry the Young King again revolted against his father, and waged a war against King Henry II and his own brother, Richard the Lionheart. Due to his lack of funds, he pillaged local monasteries to pay his soldiers and mercenaries. However, he died in France on 11 June 1183, after falling ill with dysentery, even before the actual battle could take place. His brother Richard later became the king of England.
His popularity was such that the people of Le Mans and Rouen almost went to war over the custody of his body. He was immortalized in the “Lament for the Young King” by the troubadour Bertran de Born.