Yolanda, Latin Empress

Yolanda (French: Yolande de Hainault; 1175 – August 1219), often called Yolanda of Flanders, was Empress of the Latin Empire in Constantinople, first as the wife of Emperor Peter from 1216 to 1217 and thereafter in her own right until her death in 1219. Peter was captured and imprisoned before he could reach Constantinople, so Yolanda assumed the duties of governing the Empire. She was ruling Marchioness of Namur from 1212 until 1217.

Latin Empress of Constantinople
Reign1217 – August 1219
Latin Empress consort
Tenure1216 – 1217
Died1219 (aged 43–44)
SpousePeter, Latin Emperor
FatherBaldwin V, Count of Hainault
MotherMargaret I, Countess of Flanders


Yolanda was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainault,[1] and Countess Margaret I of Flanders. Two of her brothers, Baldwin I and then Henry, were emperors in Constantinople.[1]

In 1212, Yolanda became Marchioness of Namur after her brother, Marquis Philip I.

After the death of her brother emperor Henry in 1216 there was a brief period without an emperor, before Peter was elected to succeed her brother. On their way there, Peter sent Yolanda ahead to Constantinople, while he fought the Despotate of Epirus, during which he was captured. Because his fate was unknown (although he was probably killed), Yolanda governed Constantinople as a sole ruler for two years.

She allied with the Bulgarians against the various Byzantine successor states, and was able to make peace with Theodore I Lascaris of the Empire of Nicaea, who married her daughter, Marie. She died soon after in 1219.


Following Yolanda's death, her second son, Robert of Courtenay, became emperor because her oldest son, Philip, did not want the throne.[2] Robert was still in France at the time.

Yolanda was, in her own right, Marchioness of Namur, which she inherited from her brother, Marquis Philip I, in 1212 and left to her eldest son, Marquis Philip II, when she went to Constantinople in 1216.


By Peter of Courtenay she had 10 children:


  1. ^ a b Rasmussen 1997, p. 9.
  2. ^ a b c Nicol 2002, p. 12.


  • Nicol, Donald M. (2002). The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261–1453. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rasmussen, Ann Marie (1997). Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature. Syracuse University Press.
  • Van Tricht, Filip (2011). The Latin Renovatio of Byzantium. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004203235.
Yolanda, Latin Empress
House of Hainaut
Cadet branch of the House of Flanders
Born: 1175 Died: 1219
Regnal titles
Preceded by Marchioness of Namur
Title next held by
Philip II
Preceded by Latin Empress of Constantinople
Title next held by
Royal titles
Preceded by Latin Empress consort
of Constantinople

Title next held by
Lady of Neuville