Another boy king

Louis and Blanche
Louis and Blanche

Like Henry, Louis IX (1214 – 1270) had been a boy king, crowned at the age of 12 after his father, another Louis, died of dysentery. His mother was Blanche of Castile, whose own mother was John’s cousin. It was through this tenuous royal connection that the rebellious barons of England invited the elder Louis, while still heir to the French throne, to take John’s place on the English throne. Prince Louis marched easily into London, but then John died suddenly (from eating, it was reported, too many eels) and the barons found themselves in a quandary: how to tell the humorless Louis his services were no longer required. He was eventually expelled with a large severance package and Henry became the rightful king with William Marshal as regent. Blanche became her son’s regent when he ascended the throne but insisted on having a say in his affairs even after he came of age. She was sitting next to him when Henry’s mother Isabella and Hugh Lusignan arrived to pay them homage. It was war after that.

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