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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|
|Reign||1217 – August 1219|
|Latin Empress consort|
|Tenure||1216 – 1217|
|Died||1219 (aged 43–44)|
|Spouse||Peter, Latin Emperor|
|Father||Baldwin V, Count of Hainault|
|Mother||Margaret I, Countess of Flanders|
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.
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:
- Philip (d. 1226), Marquis of Namur, who declined the offer of the crown of the Latin Empire
- Robert of Courtenay (d. 1228), Latin Emperor
- Henry (d. 1229), Marquis of Namur
- Baldwin II of Constantinople (d. 1273)
- Margaret, Marchioness of Namur, who married first Raoul d'Issoudun and then Henry count of Vianden
- Elizabeth, who married Walter (Gaucher) count of Bar and then Eudes sire of Montagu
- Yolanda de Courtenay, who married Andrew II of Hungary
- Eleanor, who married Philip of Montfort, Lord of Tyre
- Marie de Courtenay, who married Theodore I Lascaris of the Empire of Nicaea
- Agnes, who married Geoffrey II Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea
- 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.