Isabella of France Biography
(Former Queen Consort of England (1308 - 1327))
Born In: Paris, France
Isabella of the Royal House of Capet was a French princess by birth and through marriage the Queen Consort of Edward II, and later the regent for her son, Edward III. Known for her beauty, diplomatic skills, and intelligence, she played a crucial role in the dethronement of her husband. She was the daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre. A diligent student, she received the proper education fit for a girl of noble birth of her time. She was married to Edward at the age of 12. Since the very day of the wedding, she had to compete for her husband’s affection with his favourite, Piers Gaveston. The kingdom was in turmoil with growing hostility between the king and the baronial factions. She supported her husband at the beginning, while consolidating power for herself. But when Gaveston was put to death by the barons and Edward’s attention shifted to a new favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, she decided to take things in her own hands. She then went to France under the pretext of diplomacy, started a passionate relationship with Roger Mortimer, and invaded England with a small group of mercenaries. After several quick victories, she overthrew Edward and put their son Edward III on the throne. Acting as his regent, she implemented several policies, which, while unpopular, were extremely effective and pragmatic. Edward III, upon turning 18, took back his authority and removed both Mortimer and Isabella from positions of power, executing the former and exiling the latter from the court. In cultural depictions, she is often portrayed as a ‘femme fatale’, a beautiful but dangerous and deceitful figure.