Yolanda, Latin Empress

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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 as regent 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 regent of Constantinople
Regency1217 – August 1219
Latin Empress consort
Tenure1216 – 1217 (de facto) or 1219 (de jure)
Died1219 (aged 43–44)
SpousePeter, Latin Emperor
FatherBaldwin V, Count of Hainault
MotherMargaret I, Countess of Flanders

Biography Edit

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.

Because of Salic Law, Yolande could not succeed to the throne, and her husband became emperor instead.[2]

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 alone 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.

Her husband died after two years in prison, and she died herself in August 1219.[3]

Legacy Edit

Following Yolanda's death, her second son, Robert of Courtenay, became emperor because her oldest son, Philip, did not want the throne.[4] 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.

Issue Edit

By Peter of Courtenay she had 10 children:

References Edit

  1. ^ a b Rasmussen 1997, p. 9.
  2. ^ Hazlitt, William Carew (1860). History of the Venetian Republic: Her Rise, Her Greatness, and Her Civilization. Vol. 2. Smith. p. 132. The provisions of the Salic Law precluding Yolande from the succession in her own person, she was forced to content herself with ascending the throne in the right of her husband, Peter Courtenay, Count of Namur, whom the Barons of Romania consented to invest with the imperial title.
  3. ^ Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne (in French). Vol. 33. Michaud. 1854. p. 250. Yolande gouverna son petit empire avec sagesse pendant la prison de son mari et mourut elle-même en août 1219.
  4. ^ a b c Nicol 2002, p. 12.

Sources Edit

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