Mother’s Day: May 13th, 2012

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World!

I have posted about holidays quite a bit it seems lately. With this in mind, it only seems fair to remind you about Mother’s Day. Where would we be without Mom? Or without her Mom?

Being ren-faire season here in Oklahoma, I have to look back into the middle ages even for mother’s day.

I love reading about stories of the past…particularly those like Robin Hood, King Arthur, and while these are fiction, Eleanor of Aquitaine was real.

Eleanor succeeded her father as Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers at the age of fifteen, becoming the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after her accession, she married Louis VII, son of her guardian, King Louis The Fat. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessfulSecond Crusade. Soon after the Crusade, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage[2] but was rejected by Pope Eugene III.[3] However, after the birth ofAlix, another daughter, Louis agreed to an annulment.[4] The marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody was awarded to Louis, while Eleanor’s lands were restored to her.

As soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to Henry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, her cousin within the third degree, who was nine years younger than her. The couple married on 18 May 1152, eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanor’s first marriage. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become king, and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. She was imprisoned between 1173 and 1189 for supporting her son Henry‘s revolt against her husband.

Mother of King Richard the Lionheart
Mother of King Richard the Lionheart

Eleanor was widowed on 6 July 1189. Her husband was succeeded by their son, Richard I, who immediately released his mother. Now queen dowager, Eleanor acted as a regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade. Eleanor survived Richard and lived well into the reign of her youngest son John. By the time of her death, she had outlived all her children except for King John and Eleanor, Queen of Castile.”  (wikipedia)

And since this blog is titled “the Hand that Rocks the Cradle rules the World”, I have to put in a note of Queen Victoria. She was also known as “the Grandmother of Europe“. One of her granddaughters was Princess Alix who married the Tsar of Russia and became Tsarina Alexandra. The royal familys genealogy is very interesting. Sometimes I wish history had centered more on the people and families than a date and timeline to be memorized.

Grandmother of Europe
the Grandmother of Europe

She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children and 26 of their 34 grandchildren who survived childhood married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”. After Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. HerGolden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.

the last Tsarina of Russia
Alix of Hess, Alexandra Tsarina of Russia
Granddaughter of Queen Victoria

Her reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son and successor Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.” (wikipedia)

Mother’s Day is a day to honor the hand that rocked your cradle…or the woman who taught you right from wrong…showed you what you wanted to be when you grew up…

Tell me about your Mom! Leave a comment.