WOMEN’S HISTORY ✝ JEHANNE DE BOURGOGNE (24 June 1293 – 12 September 1348)Jehanne de Bourgogne was the fourth of the eight children of Robert II, duc de Bourgogne and Agnès de France. Her father, as a member of the ducal house of Bourgogne was a descendant of Robert Ier, duc de Bourgogne, the son of Robert II de France and Constança d’Arle. Her mother, on the other hand, was a daughter of youngest daughter of Louis IX de France and Margarida de Provença. Her older sister, Marguerite, married the future Louis X de France, but was imprisoned following the Tour de Nesle Affair in 1314.
In July of 1313, Jehanne married Philippe de Valois, the son of Charles de Valois and Marguerite d’Anjou. They had nine children, of whom three survived childhood. Little is recorded of Philippe or Jehanne until 1328, when Charles IV died with no sons. Edward III of England was Philippe IV’s nearest male relative, but the French nobles balked at the idea of an English king, so the throne went instead to Philippe, who was crowned on 29 May 1328. Edward seemed to accept this at first, but grew angry over the matter of Normandie and Aquitània and eventually declared war.
Jehanne was widely considered to be well-educatred, intelligent and strong-willed and was widely acknowledged to be the real power behind the throne. She served ablely as regent while Philippe was away fighting. In the middle of the destructive wars, the Black Death hit France and Jehanne died of it. After her death, Philippe married again to Blanche de Navarre (who was the granddaughter of Jehanne’s sister, Marguerite), which angered his son, Jehan, and many of the French nobles.
In 1361, Jehanne’s great nephew, Philippe Ier de Bourgogne, died childless. The title of duc de Bourgogne then passed to her grandson, Philippe le Hardi.