Thursday, 20 April 2017

British Treasures No. 5

 The Coronation of Henry IV of England from the c15th manuscript of Jean Froissart's Chronicles
Princess Blanche was the eldest daughter of King Henry lV, she was the sixth child of seven. After Henry's accession to the English throne her father wanted to make important alliances in order to maintain and legitimise his rule. A suitable ally was King Rupert of Germany, who also needed to legitimise his rule too, and so a marriage was arranged between Rupert's eldest surviving son Louis and Blanche. The marriage contract was signed in 1401 and part of the bride's dowry included what is now the oldest surviving royal English crown. The marriage took place the following year in Cologne Cathedral when the bride was 10 years old. Despite the political nature of the marriage it was said to be happy. Blanche gave birth to a son called Rupert named after his paternal grandfather when she was 14 years old. Aged just 17 years and pregnant with her second child she died of a fever in Alsace.
Princess Blanche's exquisite dowry crown is now kept in the Munich Residenz.  Made of gold, enamel, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls it is considered to be one of the finest pieces made by medieval gothic goldsmiths.
The crown is first mentioned in a list of 1399 recording the movement of royal jewels in London. It is listed as being amongst a group of jewels that had belonged to the deposed King Richard II of England. It is, therefore, known that the crown was not specifically made for Blanche. 
Princess Blanche stands poised between her husband Louis lll and his second wife Matilda. At the time of this painting in 1435 Blanche had been dead for 26 years - her presence and countenance in the picture are symbolic of her death with eyes closed and hands crossed
I am heading off for a short break to visit some places of British historical interest
 One is a curious little building I long to see covered in symbols which conceals hidden messages 
Taking a final look back at our Spring blossom as I leave
soon the petals will float away like wedding confetti on the wind 


  1. Oh poor little Queen Blanche, to die so young like that. Her crown has to be the prettiest I have ever seen, perfectly harmonising with your gorgeous spring blossoms. I do enjoy the cool climate Spring so much! Enjoy your new adventure Rosemary.

  2. How very sad to die so young, so many did. That crown is beautiful.
    Ooooh the garden is gorgeous.

  3. A mother at 14 and dead at 17. That's why they didn't waste any time in those days. Looking forward to a post and photos about your upcoming adventure!

  4. Dear Rosemary, thank you for that interesting information - I never knew that the crown is in Munich! (And will look it up the next time). Well - the bride was very, very young. I am glad to hear that the few years of her married life were happy ones. Those times were rough!
    I wish you a beautuful time of research, and will be more often in Blogland again (I hope).

  5. Hello Rosemary, Talk about coincidence--not five minutes ago I was reading in a book about Froissart's Chronicles. I am not usually the biggest fan of such things, but Blanche's crown is an object of incredible delicacy and beauty.

    Have a great trip,


  6. What an incredibly beautiful crown, do delicate instead of the heavy ones you usually see. If we make it to Munich, where we haven't been in years, I'd like to go see it.

  7. Unusual crown. Hope you enjoy your trip. Yep. The blossom is fantastic but only lasts a week some years if strong winds arrive at the wrong time. R.C. perhaps, or is that too obvious?

    1. No Bob, not Rosslyn Capel, but I would love to visit there too - I expect you have been. We are only travelling about 100 miles from the Cotswolds!

  8. Enjoy your trip. I wonder where you are off to.

  9. Married at 10, still a child. There would be an uproar if that happened these days.
    The blossom is very beautiful, and enjoy your time away.

  10. Enjoy your trip Rosemary! The blossom is just
    Love from Titti

  11. Dear Rosemary, You brought to us another interesting story, a part of Europe's history that we would otherwise not have been aware of. You always tell it so well.
    I love the very last photo. It shows so much abundance and beauty whereas the crown is so beautiful in it's simplicity.
    Looking forward to seeing pictures of your "curious little building".

  12. What a beautiful crown Blanche wore. It looks more delicate and suitable for a woman than some of the other crowns. Blossoms fill the sky here, too, in a season that is all too short. Enjoy your visit to the intriguing little building. I'll look forward to reading all about it after your return.

  13. Poor Blanche married as a child, but so it was then and sometimes still today in certain cultures. And what a wonderful sight of blossoming trees !

  14. Her crown though it wasn't made for her was delicate and beautiful....but I gasp at her age when made to marry!
    Have a wonderful trip ....can't wait to see what you are going to investigate!

  15. That crown is so beautiful and so old. That is an amazing story behind it too. You can;t imagine children marrying so young, how sad that Blanche had such a short life. Have a wonderful time away! Sarah x

  16. Exquisite, and so are the blossoms. I can't wait to see some greenery around here, too.

  17. Aprecio navegar aqui e contemplar a qualidade das suas fotos. Parabéns!
    Um abraço do Brasil e ótimo final de semana.

  18. How beautiful... the blossoms in trees are wonderful. We have to wait a long time yet, because we have so cold spring here.

  19. Dear Rosemary,
    A very interesting post about a very beautiful object. At first I was going to write that I had seen that crown but then I realised that the one I have seen is the crown of Margaret of York which is kept in Aachen: Another very nice example.
    I am interested to read abut the building you are going to visit. I am wondering if it will be the one I am thinking of!
    Very nice blossom - here we are enjoying very nice autumn leaves.
    Bye for now and safe travels,

  20. Fascinating and beautiful - as always!


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