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All Saints' Day 1179: How Henry the Young King Overshadowed Philippe Auguste

Yes, he really did it! Our Henry performed the feat, despite the low opinion the historians usually hold of him and despite their shared conviction that his reign would have proved a total fiasco, comparable only to the disastrous reign of his nephew and namesake, Henry III. Had Henry lived long enough, with Geoffrey's help, he might have hold on to the Angevin continental domains a little bit longer than his brother John. I am certain that even a cold fish like Philippe Capet would fall victim to Henry's natural charm. Anyway, the funny thing is that on 1 November 1179 Henry actually did not have to do anything to overshadow his brother-in-law. It was enough that he appeared in great style in Reims Cathedral, accompnied by his younger brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, flashed one of his sunny smiles and bedazzled all the present with the richness of his robes, retinue and gifts for Philippe. At least this is how I picture the scene. But enough with my active imagination! Let's rather focus on the facts and the facts can be found here, in one of my previous posts, in which I focused not only on the grand ceremony itself, but also on the tournament that had been organized to celebrate the occasion.

The 15th century manuscript illumination by Jean Fouquet, depicting the coronation of Philippe Auguste. The Young King is holding the crown (image: Wikipedia)

The tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne, in which Henry took part has been described in detail by the author of the History of William Marshal. You can read the whole excerpt here, at Ms Chadwick's brilliant blog. Happy reading! 


  1. I love that the Young King overshadowed Philippe. And I absolutely love the illumination featuring the Young King. He looks like he was a charmer. :) Shared on fb. xx

    1. The illumination is a thing of beauty, and Henry in it is a thing of beauty, too :-) Thank you for sharing, Marsha!

  2. Great post Kasia, hope all is well with you and yours :)

    1. Thank you, Libby! I am happy you enjoyed it. We are all well here :-)

  3. Guess the Young King had all the charm in the family....and John didn't!

    1. Judging from what I read about the youngest borther he must have been a charmer, too :-)


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