A List of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Descendants Through Joan, Queen of Sicily

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Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Descendants Through Joan, Queen of Sicily

Monreale cathedral in Sicily, built by William II
Monreale cathedral in Sicily, built by William II, first husband of Joan of England. CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images

The seventh child of Eleanor of Aquitaine by her second marriage to Henry II was a daughter named Joan. She lived from 1165 to 1199.  Joan married twice.

Her first husband was William II, King of Sicily, then a Norman kingdom. He was a child when his father died, and his mother, Margaret of Navarre, served as his regent. During his reign, while mostly staying in his palace, his armies waged war in the middle east and he supported the papacy against Frederick Barbarossa.

He married Joan of England in 1177 in Sicily.  She was eleven. William died in 1189.

1. Bohemond (1181 - ?), died in infancy.  Some sources question whether there was a child.

After William’s death, she was held captive by Tancred of Sicily, her husband’s successor. Tancred, a soldier serving under William II, rebelled at William's death and seized power in a coup.  Joan was rescued by her brother, Richard I, in 1190, who also by 1191 had won back Joan's dower and full dowry. 

In 1191, Joan’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, brought Richard’s bride, Berengaria of Navarre, to Joan, then returned to England. Joan and Berengaria, taking a ship, were nearly captured by the ruler of Cyprus, until Richard again rescued his sister and, this time, his bride. He proposed marrying her to Al Adil, sister of Jerusalem’s ruler Saladin.  Richard also briefly tried to marry Joan to Philip II of France, son of Joan’s mother’s first husband.

Joan of England's second husband, Raymond VI, had been married three times before marrying Joan in 1196, and once or twice after.  All three of his earlier marriages ended in divorce.  After Joan's death, Raymond VI had a relationship or marriage with the "Damsel of Cyprus," a daughter of Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus who had traveled with Joan and Berengaria to England. Lastly, he married Eleanor of Aragon, who was the sister of Sancha of Aragon who was his son's first wife.

Joan of England, Queen of Sicily had three children with Raymond VI:

1. Raymond VII of Toulouse. The grandson of Henry II and nephew of Richard I and John, kings of England, he was a powerful figure in European circles.

He first married Sancha of Aragon, a daughter of Alfonso II of Castile, in 1211. Her sister would later marry Raymond VII's father. They had one daughter before their divorce in 1241.

  • Joan

He was briefly set to marry Sanchia of Provence, one of four sisters who married kings, but she married Raymond's cousin, Richard of Cornwall, later King of Sicily, instead.

Raymond VII's second marriage was to Margaret of Lusignan. Her parents were Hugh V of Lusignan and Isabella of Angouleme, who was the widow of Raymond's uncle John of England. They were childless and they divorced in 1245.

Raymond was buried at his death in Fontevrault Abbey at the side of his mother Joan.

2. Daughter (her name appears differently in different sources, perhaps Joan or Mary), married Berald of Elbine, Prince of Orange (also called Pierre-Bermond II of Sauve). This son-in-law tried in 1215-16 to gain control of Toulouse from his father-in-law Raymond VI.

3. Richard, born after his mother entered Fontevrault Abbey, pregnant, fleeing from her husband. Joan died in childbirth and the baby Richard died shortly after being baptized.