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Margaret of Anjou
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    (March 23, 1430-August 25, 1482)
    Born in Pont-à-Mousson, France
    Wife and Queen Consort to King Henry VI of England
    Daughter of René I of Naples and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine
    Reigned from 1445 to 1461, and then 1470 to 1471
    She emasculated her already unstable husband.
    She was accused of infidelity after her first child, mainly because many found it hard to believe that the impotent Henry VI could bear her a son.
    She had a reputation for being ill-tempered, vindictive, and bitchy.
    She feuded bitterly with Richard, Duke of York, and their antagonistic relationship contributed to the tension between the Houses of York and Lancaster.
    She was indirectly responsible for starting the War of the Roses when she called for a Great Council which excluded Richard and his Yorkist faction (May 1455).
    The War of the Roses lasted over thirty years and has been credited with both severely weakening the English nobility and killing thousands of men.
    She ordered the decapitation of two Yorkist prisoners-of-War who had protected her husband during his captivity, as an act of vengeance, overriding her husband's promise of immunity.
    She led troops in the Battle of Tewkesbury, which decisively lost the war for them, and which resulted in the death of her son.
    She spent her last days as an impoverished, disgruntled kinswoman living in exile.
    She is arguably the only interesting character in Shakespeare's Henry VI Trilogy, which has been characterized as one of his weaker dramatic efforts.
    She was accused of delivering orders to decapitate the Duke of York and Earl of Salisbury, and to have their heads displayed on the gates of York, but she was in Scotland at the time and could never have given such orders.
    Shakespeare's play also has led people to believe that she stabbed the Duke of York to death on the battlefield after taunting him, but she was nowhere near the battle.
    Her husband's frequent bouts of insanity resulted in her basically ruling the kingdom in his place.
    She was married off at the age of 15 as part of a politically arranged marriage.
    Contemporary writings described her as 'already a woman : beautiful, passionate, proud and strong-willed.'
    Her patronage led to the founding of Queen's College at Cambridge University.
    She was the precursor to Queen Elizabeth I.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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