Margaret of France, second consort of Edward I
(1279-1318), consort 1299-1307
Margaret of France was the second wife of Edward I of England (1239-1307) and married the sixty-year-old on 8 September 1299 in Canterbury. The king's first wife, the beloved Eleanor of Castile, had died in 1290. Edward was desirous of achieving peace with France, which would enable him to more effectively pursue his wars with Scotland (France's traditional ally). It was agreed that Edward's son and namesake would marry Isabella, daughter of Philip IV of France, while the English king himself would marry Philip's sister, Margaret. The new queen was never crowned, although she did appear on public occasions wearing a crown and used the royal title in letters and documents. Margaret was queen for a short period, but she enjoyed some success in intercession and is credited with maintaining stable relations between her husband and her stepson (the future Edward II). Margaret was also revered for her piety and favoured the Franciscan order. She also fulfilled the queen's primary duty by giving birth to two sons: Thomas of Brotherton and Edmund of Woodstock (the latter was executed during the reign of his nephew, Edward III). Margaret died in 1318, aged about thirty-nine. She was the first uncrowned consort since the Norman Conquest, and was queen for less than eight years, but she enjoyed notable successes.