Alys of France was born on 4 October 1160 as the daughter of King Louis VII of France and his second wife, Constance of Castile. She had two elder half-sisters from her father’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine and a full elder sister. Her mother died giving birth to Alys and so she never knew her mother. Her father remarried just five weeks to Adèle of Champagne. They had a further two children, the future Philip II of France.
By 1169 Alys was promised in marriage to Richard the Lionheart, son of Henry II of England. She was then sent to England as Henry’s ward. As she grew up in England, rumours began to fly that Henry had made his son’s fiance his mistress and that they had had a child together. When King Henry II died in 1189, the new King Richard went on to marry Berengaria of Navarre without breaking his engagement to Alys, further fueling rumours that she had been his father’s mistress.
Her brother Philip then offered Alys to Richard’s younger brother Prince John, but this was prevented by his mother. Although she had once been set to become Queen of England, Alys ended up marrying William IV Talvas, Count of Ponthieu on 20 August 1195. She was 18 years older than he was.
She and William had two daughters, Marie, who succeeded her father as Countess of Ponthieu and Isabelle. They also had a stillborn son named Jean.
She died around 1220.