Constance of Arles

F, (circa 986 - 25 July 1032)
Father-Biological*William I ~ Comte de Provence et Arles b. c 955, d. 994
Mother-Biological*Adelaide of Anjou b. c 942, d. 1026
Family Lines
Roy Line

Boudreau Line
Last Edited=28 Feb 2024
Constance of Arles
     Robert and Constance quarreled over which of their surviving sons should inherit the throne; Robert favored their second son Henry, while Constance favored their third son, Robert. Despite his mother's protests and her support by several bishops, Henry was crowned in 1027. Constance, however, was not graceful when she didn't get her way. The ailing Fulbert, bishop of Chartres told a colleague that he could attend the ceremony "if he traveled slowly to Reims—but he was too frightened of the queen to go at all".1 Constance of Arles was born circa 986.2,3,1 She was the daughter of William I ~ Comte de Provence et Arles and Adelaide of Anjou. Constance of Arles was also known as Constance of Provence, and Constance of Toulouse.4

Constance of Arles married Robert II the Pious ~ King of France, son of Hugh Capet ~ King of the Franks and Adelainde of Poitou, in 998. Constance was married to King Robert, after his divorce from his second wife, Bertha of Burgundy. The marriage was stormy; Bertha's family opposed her, and Constance was despised for importing her Provençal kinfolk and customs. Robert's friend, Hugh of Beauvais, count palatine, tried to convince the king to repudiate her in 1007. Possibly at her request 12 knights of her kinsman Fulk Nerra then murdered Beauvais in 1008.3,4,5,2,1 Robert went to Rome in 1010, followed by his former wife Bertha, to seek permission to divorce Constance and remarry Bertha. Pope Sergius IV was not about to allow a consanguineous marriage which had been formally condemned by Pope Gregory V and Robert had already repudiated two wives. So the request was denied. After his return according to one source Robert "loved his wife more."1 At Constance's urging, her eldest son Hugh Magnus was crowned co-king alongside his father in 1017. But later Hugh demanded his parents share power with him, and rebelled against his father in 1025. Constance, however, on learning of her son's rebellion was furious with him, rebuking him at every turn. At some point Hugh was reconciled with his parents but shortly thereafter died, probably about age eighteen. The royal couple was devastated; there was concern for the queen’s mental health due to the violence of her grief.1 In 1022, a trial accused clergy members of heresy--Constance's previous confessor Stephen included, Robert had his wife Queen Constance stand at the door to prevent any mob violence. However, as the condemned clerics left the trial the queen "struck out the eye of Stephen... with the staff which she carried". This was seen as Constance venting her frustration at anyone subverting the prestige of the crown.1 After King Robert died on 20 July 1031, Constance fell ill; she was at also at odds with both her surviving sons. Constance seized her dower lands and refused to surrender them. Henry fled to Normandy, where he received aid, weapons and soldiers from his brother Robert. He returned to besiege his mother at Poissy but Constance escaped to Pontoise. She only surrendered when Henry began the siege of Le Puiset and swore to slaughter all the inhabitants.1 Constance of Arles died on 25 July 1032 at Meulan-en-Yvelines, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France.2,3,4 She was buried at Basilica of Saint-Denis, Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France.3,1

See also.


  1. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Online
  2. Sewell, Robert James. Sewell: A History of the Sewell Family from the Earliest Times. N.p.: manuscript, 2008.
  3. Stuart, Roderick W. Royalty for Commoners, The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Philippa, Fourth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650, Fifth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982.
  5. Von Redlisch, Marcellus Donald Alexander R.. Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants, Volume 1. Cottonport, Louisiana: Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, 1941.