Philippa of Lancaster - Empresses, Timeline and Childhood

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Philippa of Lancaster's Personal Details

Philippa of Lancaster was the Queen of Portugal from 1387 until 1415

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 31, 1359
Died onJuly 19, 1415
NationalityBritish
FamousEmpresses, Queens, Historical Personalities, Empresses & Queens, Leaders
SpousesJohn I of Portugal
SiblingsHenry IV of England
Childrens Henry the Navigator, Isabella of Portugal
Birth PlaceLeicester Castle
GenderFemale
FatherJohn of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
MotherBlanche of Lancaster
Sun SignAries
Born inLeicester Castle
Died at Age56

// Famous Empresses

Philippa of Lancaster's photo

Who is Philippa of Lancaster?

Philippa of Lancaster was the Queen of Portugal in late 14th and early 15th century. Born into the royal family of England and married to King John I, she was the first and only English Queen of Portugal. Her marriage with King John I secured the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance and she proved herself to be an extraordinary queen. After her marriage, she adopted the king's two illegitimate children and reared them with her own. She bore the king nine children and transformed him into a devoted husband and father with her care and affection. She was described as a subtle and sincere woman, with a profound sense of duty who supervised the education of all her children. In addition to her domestic duties, she played a crucial role in improving internal relations in her kingdom, between the Portugal's middle class and the aristocracy. Because of her close relationship with the English throne, she was also able to improve the diplomatic and commercial bonds between the two kingdoms. A devoted wife, a loving mother and a worthy queen, she is remembered as the mother of ‘The Illustrious Generation’ and her children went on to make historically significant contributions in their own right.

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Childhood & Early Life

Philippa was born on 31 March, 1359, to John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his wife, Blanche of Lancaster. She spent her infancy moving around the various properties owned by her family.

She had younger siblings: Elizabeth and Henry. Henry went on to become the King of England and was known as King Henry IV.

Her mother died of plague in 1369. In 1371 her father remarried Infanta Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile. Upon Constance's death in 1394, he married his former mistress, Katherine Swynford.

Katherine had close ties with Geoffrey Chaucer who spent much time with the family as one of Philippa’s teachers. Philippa studied science, poetry, philosophy and theology, and was also well read in the works of Greek and Roman scholars such as, Pliny and Herodotus.

Later Life

In 1387, Philippa married King John I of Portugal and became the first English woman to be crowned as the Queen consort of Portugal. This marriage served as a major agreement in procuring the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance against the France-Castile axis.

On February 2, 1387, the royal couple was blessed by the church in the Cathedral of Porto. Twelve days later, the wedding ceremony took place on February 14, 1387, a union which the Portuguese court celebrated for fifteen days.

By marrying Philippa, John I established a political and personal alliance with her father, the John of Gaunt, who in 1386 had signed the Portuguese-British Alliance, which continued through the Napoleonic Wars and ensured Portugal's tenuous neutrality in World War II.

King John I already had a mistress, Inês Peres Esteves, with whom who he had three children: Afonso, Beatrice and Branca. Philippa commanded her to leave the court and moved her to a convent where Esteves became a Prioress. However, she allowed Afonso and Beatrice to be raised in the Portuguese court.

Philippa had nine children with King John I, of who three died in infancy. Her eldest surviving child was Edward, born in 1391, who grew up to become a writer and succeeded his father as King of Portugal in 1433.

Her second surviving son, Peter, was born in 1392, who later became the Duke of Coimbra. In 1394, Henry was born, who famously became known as "the Navigator", the first Duke of Viseu, who guided Portugal to the Age of Discovery.

Philippa’s first surviving daughter, Isabella, was born in 1397 and later married Philip III of Burgundy. Her last two sons with the king, John and Ferdinand, were born in 1400 and 1402, respectively.

Major Works

Philippa wielded enormous influence in both the Portuguese and English courts and was actively involved in political affairs. She often wrote to the English court from Portugal and stayed involved in English politics. She was also able to improve the diplomatic and commercial bonds between the two kingdoms.

Her political contribution to her own court was immense. Because of the Portuguese involvement in several wars, the Portuguese economy was deteriorating. Therefore, she arranged to send an expedition for the conquest and control of Ceuta which proved to be quite lucrative for Portugal as it gained the control of the African and Indian spice trade.

Personal Life & Legacy

At the age of 53, she contracted plague and was moved from Lisbon to Sacavém. She called her sons to her bedside so that she could give them her blessing.

Philippa died peacefully on July 19, 1415, in Sacavém, Portugal, at the age of 55, and was buried in the Batalha Monastery, Leiria, Portugal. She was said to be lucid and without pain during the final hours of her life.

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Philippa of Lancaster biography timelines

  • // 31st Mar 1359
    Philippa was born on 31 March, 1359, to John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his wife, Blanche of Lancaster. She spent her infancy moving around the various properties owned by her family.
  • // 1386
    By marrying Philippa, John I established a political and personal alliance with her father, the John of Gaunt, who in 1386 had signed the Portuguese-British Alliance, which continued through the Napoleonic Wars and ensured Portugal's tenuous neutrality in World War II.
  • // 1387
    In 1387, Philippa married King John I of Portugal and became the first English woman to be crowned as the Queen consort of Portugal. This marriage served as a major agreement in procuring the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance against the France-Castile axis.
  • // 14th Feb 1387
    On February 2, 1387, the royal couple was blessed by the church in the Cathedral of Porto. Twelve days later, the wedding ceremony took place on February 14, 1387, a union which the Portuguese court celebrated for fifteen days.
  • // 1391 To 1433
    Philippa had nine children with King John I, of who three died in infancy. Her eldest surviving child was Edward, born in 1391, who grew up to become a writer and succeeded his father as King of Portugal in 1433.
  • // 1392 To 1394
    Her second surviving son, Peter, was born in 1392, who later became the Duke of Coimbra. In 1394, Henry was born, who famously became known as "the Navigator", the first Duke of Viseu, who guided Portugal to the Age of Discovery.
  • // 19th Jul 1415
    Philippa died peacefully on July 19, 1415, in Sacavém, Portugal, at the age of 55, and was buried in the Batalha Monastery, Leiria, Portugal. She was said to be lucid and without pain during the final hours of her life.

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Philippa of Lancaster's FAQ

  • What is Philippa of Lancaster birthday?

    Philippa of Lancaster was born at 1359-03-31

  • When was Philippa of Lancaster died?

    Philippa of Lancaster was died at 1415-07-19

  • Where was Philippa of Lancaster died?

    Philippa of Lancaster was died in Sacavém

  • Which age was Philippa of Lancaster died?

    Philippa of Lancaster was died at age 56

  • Where is Philippa of Lancaster's birth place?

    Philippa of Lancaster was born in Leicester Castle

  • What is Philippa of Lancaster nationalities?

    Philippa of Lancaster's nationalities is British

  • Who is Philippa of Lancaster spouses?

    Philippa of Lancaster's spouses is John I of Portugal

  • Who is Philippa of Lancaster siblings?

    Philippa of Lancaster's siblings is Henry IV of England

  • Who is Philippa of Lancaster childrens?

    Philippa of Lancaster's childrens is Henry the Navigator, Isabella of Portugal

  • Who is Philippa of Lancaster's father?

    Philippa of Lancaster's father is John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster

  • Who is Philippa of Lancaster's mother?

    Philippa of Lancaster's mother is Blanche of Lancaster

  • What is Philippa of Lancaster's sun sign?

    Philippa of Lancaster is Aries