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Amiens, July 1385. Lightning wedding and torrid wedding night

The choir | Welleschik / CC-BY-SA
Cathedral Wedding Festivities Charles VI of France Isabeau of Bavaria Notre-Dame cathedral in Amiens

He needed a wife!

July 18th 1385, Amiens. Isabeau of Bavaria married king of France Charles VI !

Charles just turned 17. King of France since he was 12, he had to settle down.

But he didn’t want an arranged marriage: he wanted the prettiest wife!

They brought him portraits of the most beautiful European chicks...

Until he saw the one: Isabeau of Bavaria.

Daughter of a Bavarian duke and an Italian princess, she was 14 years old. Nice! A spicy brunette with tanned skin... He wanted to see her.

He found love

So, they invited her in Amiens, on the pretext of making a pilgrimage on saint John the Baptist’s head, displayed in the cathedral.

Isabeau turned up with German dukes and duchesses. Charles was waiting, restless, since several days, with his brother and his uncle, duke of Burgundy.

Chronicler Froissart described what happened, on 17th, the day before the wedding.

Isabeau entered in the king’s palace. She first went down on one knee in front of Charles.

This one immediately helped her back to her feet.

Sweetly, looking into each other’s eyes... "In this look he found love and pleasure".

Well, Charles fell madly in love with her! After this appointment, Charles was pretty exciting.


They decided the wedding would take place in Arras...

But Charles wanted to marry now!! He was hot! So, that wedding took place in Amiens... the next day!

Isabeau arrived on a big carriage with wheels re-covered with silver fabric. The ceremony took place "in the choir, almost beneath the bells", said the period chronicles.

After the dances and the feast, whoosh: they quickly went to bed to consummate the union.

Froissart said: "Ladies tucked the bride in her bed, then the king came in. They had lot of pleasure, this night, believe me."


Well, we know the continuation! Only catastrophes!

Charles would become completely nuts in 1392, incapable of reigning.

His uncle Philip the Bold, his brother Louis of Orléans and his wife Isabeau would turn up: everyone coveted the throne, so a civil war began.

Isabeau would also sell France to the English, during the Hundred Years War...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!