Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Queen of Cyprus (Jerusalem and Armenia) (c.1458/9 - 1460)

Charlotte was the daughter of King Jean II of Cyprus and Helena Palaeologus, daughter of Theodore Paleaologus, Ruler of the Peloponnese. Charlote was twice married: (1) John, Duke of Coimbra (grandson of the King of Portugal), and (2) Louis, Count of Savoy. She managed to persuade her half-brother Archbishop Jacques to kill a royal chamberlain said to have been implicated in death of her husband John, who had incurred the emnity of Queen Helena and died in mysterious circumstances, though most likely poisoned. Aged 22, Charlotte succeeded father (c.1459).

After her accession, Charlotte married her second husband Louis, Count of Savoy and her cousin (1459). But things did not go as planned - her half brother Jacques declared himself to be heir of Cyprus (1460). In the ensuing dispute for the crown of Cyprus, Charlotte had the support of nobility against Jacques, who landed with Muslim army.

Charlotte retreated to castle of Kyrenia but the castle was surrounded and besieged (1460-1463). Somehow she managed to extricate herself and fled to Rome with her husband (1463). Jacques was declared and crowned King of Cyprus. Charlotte died (1487) bequething sovereignty of Cyprus to Savoy. I am unsure whether her husband was Louis, Duke of Savoy (1440-1465) and therefore mother of Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy, but considering her bequest of Cyprus to Savoy it is possible.

~~~ Melisende (first pub:1998 - Women of History)

No comments: