Constance of Béarn’s unlucky marriages

Constance of Béarn was born between 1245 and 1255 as the daughter of Gaston VII, Viscount of Béarn and his first wife Martha of Marsan. Her exact birthdate is not known, but she was most likely the eldest of four daughters as she inherited her mother’s estates when she died. This would have made her an attractive match. She made a brilliant match in 1260, possibly in her early teens and she travelled to Aragon to marry Infante Alfonso, the son and heir of James I of Aragon. They married on 23 March 1260 at Calatayud and Alfonso died three days later. We don’t know what he died of. Constance must have seen a brilliant future as Queen of Aragon pass by her.

By 1266 Constance was again betrothed, this time to Infante Manuel of Castile, a son of Ferdinand III of Castile. However, this marriage never took place. She made a second match in 1268 to Henry of Almain, who was a grandson of King John of England. They were married at Windsor Castle on 5 May 1269. This marriage was not a success. Henry repudiated her the following year, and he was murdered in 1271.

Third time’s a charm? Not for poor Constance. Her stepmother, Beatrice of Savoy, Dame of Faucigny, arranged for her marriage to Aymond II of Geneva in 1279. Aymond too died, with a year. Constance would have no children by any of her husbands.

She remained a widow for the rest of her life. She died on 26 April 1310.

About Moniek Bloks 2734 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.


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