Skip to main content

Philippe II of France, "God-given"?

1 November marked the anniversary of the coronation of the young Philippe Capet (b.1165) at Reims Cathedral in the presence of his brother-in-law*, Henry the Young King, who accompanied by his younger brothers, Richard and Geoffrey represented the House of Anjou in the absence of his father, Henry II of England. Here is a detailed account I wrote to commemorate the occasion three years ago as one of the first posts on this blog:

Reims and Lagny-sur-Marne. November 1179


“… William, Archbishop of Rheims, crowned … Philip, the son of his sister Ala who was now in the fifteenth year of his age, and anointed him king at Rheims, in the church there of the Pontifical See, on the day of the feast of All Saints, being assisted in the performance of that office by William, archbishop of Tours and the archbishops of Bourges and Sens, and nearly all the bishops of the kingdom. Henry, the king of England, the son, in the procession from the chamber to the cathedral on the day of the coronation, proceeded him, bearing the golden crown with which the said Philip was to be crowned, in right of the dukedom of Normandy.”


Henry the Young King, aged four and twenty, accompanied by his younger brothers, Richard, duke of Aquitaine and Geoffrey, duke of Brittany represented the House of Anjou at the coronation of his brother-in-law, Philip, later known as Augustus*. On All Saints’ Day, 1179, not yet fifteen-year-old Philip, following Capetian tradition, was anointed and crowned at the cathedral of Reims by the archbishop of Reims, William Whitehands [Guillaume aux Blanches Mains], his uncle. At the time of the ceremony, Philip’s father, Louis VII was yet alive, but “labouring under old age and a paralytic malady” unable to attend. Philip’s mother, Adela of Champagne was also absent, probably tending to her ailing husband...


And here's a great post about Philippe by Mr Richard Willis. Highly recommendable!

Les Rois de France: Philippe II

"Every sobriquet tells a story. Henry I was called “Beauclerc” for his scholarly interests (unusually for someone outside of the clergy, he could read Latin), Charles I was called Charles the Great (Charlemagne, as we know him today) because united much of Western Europe for the first time since the fall of Rome, and Frederick I was known as Barbarossa for his red beard.However, there was one sobriquet that was probably revered above all others. Taken as the honorific of Caius Octavius Thurinus (Caius Iulius Caesar Octavius, or Octavian) on his ascension as princeps (“the first” – he never called himself emperor, though he basically was one), the sobriquet of Augustus, “the revered one” (hence an august elder statesman), has not been conferred upon many other rulers throughout the years.Philippe II, king of the Franks (King of the French from 1190 on), was originally given the sobriquet due to his birth in the month of August. And yet, somewhat curiously, that fact has been forgotten – because Philippe himself accomplished enough to call himself revered. In 43 years on the throne – ruling alone for most of that period – he managed to triple the holdings of the French crown, most of it at the expense of his hated rivals, the Angevin kings of England..."






* Henry was the husband of Philippe's elder half-sister, Marguerite (1157/58-1197)







Comments

  1. I'm sure the Young King was truly superb at the tournament. The relief King Louis felt at Phillipe's birth must have been immeasurable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, given that Louis' fist marriage was anulled probably for that very reason and that his second wife too failed to give him a male heir, his relief must have been almost tangible :-)

      Delete
  2. Love this post. I found it very moving that he was called Dieudonne by his father. And I love the story when he gets lost in the woods and he is very ill. The king his father goes to England to pray for Dieudonne's health. King Henry II accompanies King Louis to St. Thomas Beckett's shrine in Canterbury and does a vigil along with the french king, not because he is a king, but because he is a grieving father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daniella. Yes, this story tells us a great deal not only about the kings themselves, but also about their relationship.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: The Three Sisters of the Young King by Sharon Bennett Connolly

Today I am delighted to welcome Sharon Bennet Connolly to the blog. Sharon is going to present her new book, Heroines of the Medieval World, and tell us a few words about Henry the Young King's younger sisters, Matilda, Eleanor and Joanna. Over to you, Sharon...

In history we tend to focus on the actions of the men in a family. Well, let’s face it, the life of Henry II and his sons is fascinating, full of love, honour, death and betrayal. Who wouldn’t be drawn into that world? But did you know that the women of the Young King’s family had no less exciting and eventful lives?
With a mother like Eleanor of Aquitaine, you would not expect her daughters to be shrinking violets. And, indeed, they were not. And neither were the girls sent off into the world, never to see their parents again. In what may be a unique occurrence for royal princesses, each of the three daughters of Eleanor and Henry II would get to spend time with their mother later in their lives.
Matilda of England, the elde…

19 December 1154. Coronation of Henry's Parents

On Sunday, 19 December 1154, Henry the Young King's parents were crowned king and queen of England at Westminster Abbey by Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury*. The chronicler Henry of Huntigdonexpressed the feelingsthat must have filled all the hearts in the ravaged by the civil war England: … Henry was crowned and consecrated with becoming pomp and splendour, amidst universal rejoicing, which many mingled with tears of joy!’ (Henry of Huntingdon p.296-97).
The then Henry fitz Empress was staying in Normandy when he learned that on 25 October king Stephen died. ‘… Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, with many nobles, dispatched messengers in all haste to their now lord the Duke of Normandy, intreating him to come over without delay, and receive the crown of England. Hindered, however, by contrary winds and a stormy sea, as well as other circumstances, it was not till six days before Christmas that, accompanied by his wife and brothers, with a retinue of great nobles and a strong forc…

28 February 1155: In Celebration of Henry the Young King's Birthday

On the pages of his Chronicon Geoffrey, prior of Vigeois, described in meticulous detail how young Henry packed as much repentance into his deathbed as he could before he passed away.  Geoffrey left nothing unsaid. The hair shirt, bed of ashes, halter around neck, Bernard, bishop of Agen administering the last rites, and many other men of religion … all was there to ‘draw the readers attention away from the affairs of this world to those of the next’. Of course, Geoffrey, a man of religion himself, must have seen young Henry’s untimely passing as a divine punishment. But there were other voices who disagreed with that of the prior. Thomas de Agnellis, for example, in his sermon claimed that as the Young King’s sad retinue was toiling over the jolly sunbathed hills and dales of Aquitaine, it became the focus for many miracles. The rumors of the late king’s sainthood began to circulate. The monasteries pillaged by him shortly before his death- as it happened some of the most sacred shri…