Queen Blanche Of Castille This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Queen

Blanche

of Castille by Kara S.l, Rutland, MA "Hero" isn't always easy to define. Typically, we think of the police or soldiers in far-flung, war-torn countries. We think of comic-book characters or action movie stars who walk away unscathed from explosions, or the mighty, mythological warriors who fought hideous monsters. Rarely can a woman be called a hero in this male-dominated realm.

My heroine is Queen Blanche of Castille who ruled France as queen regent during a time when women were viewed only as possessions and not actual humans. Blanche, an English-Spanish princess, was born in 1187 A.D. She was forced to obey her male relatives and not allowed to have anything a normal child had. When she was 11, her grandmother, Queen Eleanor of England, took her from her family to marry Prince Louis VIII of France, whom she had never met.

Blanche became queen, but still had little power. She served in her husband's army as his greatest general and defeated his enemies. Before Louis died, he begged Blanche to rule as queen regent, because she was the only person he could trust to rule France wisely. She followed his requests and a few days after Louis VIII's death, had her son, Louis IX, crowned king and herself crowned queen regent - the first queen regent in French history.

Because she was a woman, several barons declared that she had no right to rule as queen regent and demanded the throne. Blanche stood firm against the powerful barons, refusing to give in. Within four years, she had defeated all of the barons and a rebellion was never again raised.The French people, especially the poor, hailed her as a hero and a great queen,

Queen Blanche of Castille is my hero because she broke through the bonds that held many medieval women to the belief that they were placed on the planet only to be wives and mothers. Blanche set the pattern that many more women later followed, including Joan of Arc.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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