Joanna of Bourbon

Joanna of Bourbon (3 February 1338 – 6 February 1378)[a] was Queen of France by marriage to King Charles V. She acted as his political adviser and was appointed potential regent in case of a minor regency.

Joanna of Bourbon
Jeanne de Bourbon.jpg
Queen consort of France
Tenure8 April 1364 – 6 February 1378
Coronation1 June 1364
Born3 February 1338
Vincennes, France
Died6 February 1378(1378-02-06) (aged 40)
Paris, France
(m. 1350)
FatherPeter I, Duke of Bourbon
MotherIsabella of Valois
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Early lifeEdit

Born in the Château de Vincennes, Joanna was a daughter of Peter I, Duke of Bourbon, and Isabella of Valois, a half-sister of Philip VI of France.

From October 1340 through at least 1343, negotiations and treaties were made for her to marry Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy. The goal was to bring Savoy more closely into French influence.[1]


On 8 April 1350, she married her cousin, the future Charles V of France, at Tain-l'Hermitage. Born thirteen days apart, they both were 12 years old. When Charles ascended the throne in 1364, Joanna became queen of France.

Queen Joanna and Charles V had somewhat of a strained relationship during his tenure as dauphin because of his infidelity with Biette de Cassinel, but their relationship improved when after he became King, and reportedly, he sometimes confided in her in political and cultural issues and relied on her advice.[2] According to tradition, Joanna was rumored to have taken the poet Hippolyte de Saint-Alphon [fr] for a lover, who was the biological father of her child John, who was born and died in 1366.[2]

Queen Joanna was described as mentally fragile, and after the birth of her son Louis in 1372, she suffered a complete mental breakdown.[2] This deeply worried Charles V, who made a pilgrimage and offered many prayers for her recovery.[2] When she did recover and regained her normal state of mind in 1373, Charles V appointed her legal guardian and regent of France should he die when his son and heir was still a minor.[2]

Death and burialEdit

Joanna died at the royal residence Hôtel Saint-Pol in Paris, on 6 February 1378 (1377 Old Style),[3] three days after her 40th birthday, and two days after the birth of her youngest child, Catherine. Froissart[4] recorded that Joanna took a bath against her physicians' advice. Soon after, she went into labour and died two days after giving birth. The king was devastated. Her heart was buried in the Cordeliers Convent and her entrails in the Couvent des Célestins. The Couvent des Célestins in Paris was the most important royal necropolis after the Basilica of St Denis. The rest of her remains were then placed at Saint-Denis.


Joanna and Charles had nine children. Two of them reached adulthood:

  1. Joanna (September 1357 – 21 October 1360), interred at Saint-Antoine-des-Champs Abbey.
  2. Bonne (1358 – 7 December 1360, Paris, France), interred beside her older sister.
  3. John (Vincennes, 6 June 1366 – 21 December 1366), interred at Saint Denis Basilica.
  4. Charles VI (3 December 1368 – 22 October 1422), King of France.
  5. Marie (Paris, 27 February 1370 – June 1377, Paris).
  6. Louis (13 March 1372 – 23 November 1407), Duke of Orléans.
  7. Isabella (Paris, 24 July 1373 – 13 February 1377, Paris).
  8. John (1374/76 – died young).[b]
  9. Catherine (Paris, 4 February 1378 – November 1388), interred at Abbaye De Maubuisson; married John of Berry, Count of Montpensier (son of John, Duke of Berry).



  1. ^ Julian calendar
  2. ^ His existence is disputed.


  1. ^ Cox, Eugene L. (1967). The Green Count of Savoy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 57. LCCN 67-11030.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tuchman, Barbara W, En Fjärran Spegel. Det stormiga 1300-talet. Atlantis, Stockholm, 1994. ISBN 91-7486-260-X, sid 304
  3. ^ Les chroniques de sire Jean Froissart... avec notes par J.A.C. Buchon, Tome II, A. Desrez Libraire-Editeur, Paris, 1835, p. 19. [1]
  4. ^ J. A. Buchon, Collection des Chroniques nationales françaises écrites en langue vulgaire du treizième au seizième siècle, Chroniques de Froissart, Tome VII, Verdière, Libraire, Paris, 1824, p. 61

External linksEdit

  Media related to Joanna of Bourbon at Wikimedia Commons

French royalty
Title last held by
Joanna I of Auvergne
Queen consort of France
Title next held by
Isabeau of Bavaria