Eleanor of Aquitaine: the medieval queen who took on Europe’s most powerful men

Henry II and Richard I are among England's most celebrated kings. But when it came to resourcefulness, political nous and sheer staying power, neither were the equal of the woman that bound them, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Professor Lindy Grant examines the extraordinary and colourful life of one of the medieval world's most powerful women...

Two scenes from the Chronique de St Denis, late 14th century. The left-hand scene depicts the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France in 1137. The scene on the right shows Louis departing by ship to go on the Second Crusade in 1147. (Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)

When Richard the Lionheart inherited his father’s realms in 1189, 
one of his first acts as king was to release his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from imprisonment.

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