Blanche of France, Duchess of Austria
|Blanche of France|
Portrait of Blanche of France by Antoni Boys
|Duchess consort of Austria|
|Tenure||1300 – 1 March 1305|
1 March 1305|
|Spouse||Rudolph I of Bohemia|
|Father||Philip III of France|
|Mother||Maria of Brabant|
Blanche was born in Paris, the second child of Philip III of France and his second wife, Maria of Brabant. Her siblings were Louis, Count of Évreux and Margaret, Queen of England. Blanche also had two older half-brothers from her father's first marriage: Philip, the future King of France, and Charles, Count of Valois.
Blanche was betrothed four times before her eventual marriage. Her first betrothal was to John I, Marquis of Namur, in September 1290. Her second betrothal was on 31 July 1291 to Edward, Prince of Wales, but he would instead marry Blanche's niece Isabella.
Her third betrothal took place in 1293 and was to the Prince of Wales's father, Edward I of England, who had been widowed three years earlier. Edward broke off his son's betrothal to Blanche after hearing of her beauty and sent emissaries to negotiate the intended union with her half-brother, King Philip IV. Philip agreed to give Blanche to Edward on the following conditions:
- A truce would be concluded between the two countries; and
- Edward would cede the province of Gascony to France.
Edward agreed and sent his brother Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, to fetch the new bride, but Lancaster discovered that Blanche was already betrothed to another. Philip instead offered Edward her younger sister Margaret, who was at the time only eleven years old. Edward refused Margaret's hand and instead declared war on France. Five years later Edward and Philip declared a truce under which Edward would marry Margaret (then a more mature 16 years of age) and receive both the territory of Guienne and the sum of £15,000, which was owed to Margaret.
Her fourth betrothal, in 1296, was to John, son of John II, Count of Holland.
Blanche married Rudolph on 25 May 1300; she bore him a stillborn daughter in 1304, a short-lived son who was poisoned in March 1306 and she suffered a miscarriage. She died on 1 March 1305, possibly of complications of the miscarriage.
Blanche is buried at the Minoritenkirche.
Media related to Blanche of France (1305) at Wikimedia Commons
Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol
|Duchess consort of Austria
consort jointly with Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol
| Succeeded by|
Elisabeth Richeza of Poland