Adelaide of Hesse

Adelaide of Hesse (Polish: Adelajda heska) (after 1323 – after May 26, 1371) was a daughter of Henry II, Landgrave of Hesse, and his wife Elisabeth of Thuringia, daughter of Frederick I, margrave of Meissen. Adelaide was a member of the House of Hesse.

Adelaide of Hesse
Queen consort of Poland
Tenure1341–1356
Coronation29 September 1341
Bornc. 1324
Diedc. 1371 (aged 46–47)
SpouseCasimir III of Poland
HouseHesse (by birth)
Piast (by marriage)
FatherHenry II, Landgrave of Hesse
MotherElisabeth of Thuringia

BiographyEdit

She was named after her paternal grandmother.

Unhappy marriageEdit

On September 29, 1341, in Poznań, Adelaide married Casimir III the Great, King of Poland. The marriage was a result of an agreement between Casimir III and Luxemburgs.

The marriage was Casimir's second marriage, after the death of his first wife, Aldona of Lithuania. Casimir had no male heir, though he had two daughters, Elizabeth and Kunigunde. On September 29, 1341, Adelaide was crowned in Poznań Cathedral. The marriage was an unhappy one, Casimir started living separately from Adelaide soon after their marriage.

AnnulmentEdit

Their loveless marriage lasted until 1356. Casimir separated from Adelaide and married his mistress Christina. Christina was the widow of Miklusz Rokiczani, a wealthy merchant. The bigamy and his womanizing Casimir got into severe trouble with the clergy.

Casimir continued living with Christina despite complaints by Pope Innocent VI on behalf of Adelaide. The marriage lasted until 1363/1364 when Casimir again declared himself divorced. They had no children. The marriage to Adelaide was annulled in 1368. Then Casimir married his fourth wife, Jadwiga (Hedwig) of Żagań. This marriage produced another three daughters.

With Adelaide still alive and Christina possibly as well, the marriage to Jadwiga was also considered bigamous. The legitimacy of the three last daughters was disputed. Casimir managed to have two of his daughters, Anna and Kunigunde, legitimatized by Pope Urban V on December 5, 1369. Jadwiga the younger, was legitimatized by Pope Gregory XI on October 1, 1371.

Later lifeEdit

After the annulment of her marriage, Adelaide went back home to Hesse. She spent the rest of her life in Hesse.

After her ex-husband's death, she fought for her property rights. She intervened in this case to Pope Gregory XI. On May 26, 1371, the Pope urged King Louis to give back her property.

In popular cultureEdit

FilmEdit

Queen Adelaide is one of the main characters in the second season of Polish historical TV drama series "Korona Królów" ("The Crown of the Kings"). She is played by Aleksandra Przesław.

Further readingEdit

  • Balzer Oswald: Genealogia Piastów. Kraków 1895, p. 386-387.
  • Paszkiewicz H.: Adelajda. In: Polski Słownik Biograficzny. Vol. 1. 1935, p. 28.
  • Semkowicz Aleksander: Adelajda, Krystyna, Jadwiga, żony Kazimierza Wielkiego. Kwartalnik Historyczny 12. 1898, p. 561-566.
Adelaide of Hesse
Born: 1324
Royal titles
Vacant
Title next held by
Aldona of Lithuania
Queen consort of Poland
1341–1356
Succeeded by
Christina Rokiczana