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Isabella of France

England's Queen Isabella, "She-Wolf of France"


Isabella of France

Isabella of France

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About Isabella of France

Known for: Queen Consort of Edward II of England, mother of Edward III of England; leading campaign with her lover, Roger Mortimer, to depose Edward II

Dates: 1292 - August 23, 1358

Also known as: Isabella Capet; She-Wolf of France

More About Isabella of France

Daughter of King Philip IV of France and of Jeanne of Navarre, Isabella was married to Edward II in 1308. Their son, the future Edward III, was born at the end of an English civil war. By the 1320s, Isabella and Edward II's dislike of each other had escalated, as he spent more time with his favorites, including Piers Gaveston in what was almost certainly a homosexual affair. He supported one group of nobles, especially Hugh le Despenser the Younger (who may also have been Edward's lover) and his family, and exiled or imprisoned others who then began to organize against Edward with the support of Charles IV (the Fair) of France, Isabella's brother.

Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer

Isabella left England for France in 1325, and the next year she and her lover, Roger Mortimer, helped with efforts to invade England and depose Edward. Mortimer and Isabella had Edward II murdered in 1327, and Edward III was crowned king of England, with Isabella and Mortimer as his regents.

In 1330, Edward III decided to assert his own rule, escaping likely death. He executed Mortimer as a traitor and banished Isabella, forcing her to retire as a Poor Clare for more than a quarter century until her death.

More of Isabella's Offspring

Isabella's son John became Earl of Cornwall, her daughter Eleanor married Duke Rainald II of Gueldres and her daughter Joan (known as Joan of the Tower) married David II Bruce, King of Scotland.

When Charles IV of France died without a direct heir, his nephew Edward III of England claimed the throne of France through his descent through his mother Isabella, beginning the Hundred Years War.

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