This blog first appeared in Historical Hearts blog, October 10, 2011
Missive to Ms Demi Moore from Her Royal Highness, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and England
Ma Cherie Demi,
What can I say to console you? All men are schmucks. I am writing to sympathise with your current situation with votre beau fils Ashton. I too had the anguish of losing favour to a younger woman. I first met my Henry, then Duke of Normandy when he was but eighteen years of age. I had once dallied with his father but after setting eyes on young Henry, it was lust at first sight for both of us. But first I had to arrange the annulment from my first husband, Louis VII, King of France. Married to Louis when I was just fifteen, it was a passionless marriage. Louis, as second son had thought to give his heart, body and soul to the church. Instead he was crowned king, and I, queen within weeks of our betrothal. No handsome and virile Bruce Willis for me, ma Cherie.( Why ever did you throw him over?) Ah, but I see. The younger model does have its appeal, n’est-ce pas ?
Henry was eleven years my junior when we married weeks after the annulment. I was twenty nine and as Henry would often tell me, more beautiful than all of the courts of Europe. I gave up the throne of France and two small daughters for him. But Henry gave me the throne of England instead. Not too many others can claim to have been Queen of France and then Queen of England. For the next fourteen years ours was a marriage of love and passion. Henry was “a young red-headed lion’, blatantly sexual with a muscular toned body. You would have very much approved ma cherie Demi.
Together we produced eight surviving children – five sons and three daughters. Two of my daughters would become queens and three of my sons, kings. But by the time our last son John was born Henry had moved on from his frequent dalliances to a more lasting affaire de Coeur with the fair Rosamund de Clifford.
I would have my revenge. I returned to my Duchy of Aquitaine and waited. Within 5 years my son, Young Henry, with the support of the Lords of Aquitaine and my former husband Louis, faced rebellion from all sides. Henry won out in the end and I was to face the next fifteen years imprisoned.
The greatest revenge is to outlive them all. Sadly Young Henry did not live to take the throne of England, but my favourite son, Richard the Lionheart did when Henry died in 1189.
Ma Cherie Demi, I wish you luck with your younger lover, but time is the cruellest enemy of the fairer sex. Perhaps you could take the advice of the other grande dame, Ivana Trump.
“Don’t just get even. Take it all!”
Countess of Poitou, Duchess of Aquitaine
Former Queen of France
Past Queen of England.