Trashy Royals podcast

38. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England

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After Eleanor finally succeeded in ending her marriage to Louis VII of France, she had a brief turn of wedded bliss to the future Henry II of England. It's not that the marriage was short, just her happiness. Henry II, it turns out, was a king of questionable judgment, as Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket would find out. He was also loathe to cede power to their children, and little was helped when Henry's head was turned by a young noblewoman named Rosamund Clifford - an affair that contributed to Eleanor urging her sons to rise up against their father in England. For her treachery, Eleanor would spend more than a decade and a half confined; their sons were welcomed back into the fold in a "boys will be boys" way. But this was not the end for Eleanor. Upon the death of Henry II in 1189, she was the extremely involved Dowager Queen of England while her sons, Richard the Lionheart and King John, would take their turns on the throne. But those are stories for next week, in Part Three. Listen ad-free at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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