Isabeau of Bavaria (also Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; c. 1370 – 24 September 1435) was Queen consort of France from 1385 until 1422, as wife of the Valois King Charles VI of France. Born into the old and prestigious House of Wittelsbach, she was the eldest daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At around age 15, Isabeau was sent to France, on "approval" to the young French king, who liked her enough to marry her three days later on 17 July 1385.
In 1389, she was honored by a lavish entry into Paris, where her coronation ceremony was held. A few years later, in 1392, Charles VI suffered the first incident of what would be a lifelong progressive mental illness. The king was advised to be distracted from the burden of government, and when the queen hosted a masque for a lady-in-waiting in 1393, it resulted in the disastrous event known as Bal des Ardents. During his periods of insanity the king persistently requested his wife be removed from his presence. However, he consistently gave her authority to act on behalf of the dauphin and himself during periods of illness, which garnered her a seat on the regency council.
In 1403 and 1404, growing factionalism and rivalry built (for the most part because of the vacancy caused by Charles' illness), that would eventually result in civil war between the royal dukes of Burgundy and the Armagnacs, supporters of Charles' brother, Louis of Orléans. Isabeau vacillated between the factions, picking a course she believed best for the heir to the throne; when she chose to follow the Armagnacs, the Burgundians accused her of adultery with Louis of Orléans. In 1407, John the Fearless assassinated Orléans and the queen began to lose political influence; when she chose to side with the Burgundians, the Armagnacs removed her from Paris and had her imprisoned.
For many centuries Queen Isabeau was described as a spendthrift, irresponsible adulteress, but in the late 20th century and early 21st century historians began to re-examine the extensive chronicles written during her lifetime and came to the conclusion that much of her reputation was unearned and was most likely the result of factional political propaganda written by contemporary chroniclers.
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... Ancestors of Isabeau of Bavaria 16 ... Louis II, Duke of Bavaria 8 ... Stephen II, Duke of Bavaria 18 ...