Philippa of Hainault

Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault-mini.gif
Philippa's coronation
Queen consort of England
Tenure24 January 1328 – 15 August 1369
Coronation4 March 1330
Born24 June c.1310/15
Died15 August 1369(1369-08-15) (aged 56)
Windsor Castle
Burial9 January 1370
Westminster Abbey
SpouseEdward III, King of England
HouseAvesnes family
FatherWilliam I, Count of Hainaut
MotherJoan of Valois

Philippa of Hainault (Middle French: Philippe de Hainaut; 24 June[1] c.1310/15[2] – 15 August 1369) was Queen of England as the wife of King Edward III.[3] Edward promised in 1326 to marry her within the following two years.[4] She was married to Edward, first by proxy, when Edward dispatched the Bishop of Coventry "to marry her in his name" in Valenciennes (second city in importance of the county of Hainaut) in October 1327.[5] The marriage was celebrated formally in York Minster on 24 January 1328, some months after Edward's accession to the throne of England. In August 1328, he also fixed his wife's dower.[6]

Philippa acted as regent in 1346,[7] when her husband was away from his kingdom, and she often accompanied him on his expeditions to Scotland, France, and Flanders. Philippa won much popularity with the English people for her kindness and compassion, which were demonstrated in 1347 when she successfully persuaded King Edward to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais. This popularity helped maintain peace in England throughout Edward's long reign.[8] The eldest of her thirteen children was Edward, the Black Prince, who became a renowned military leader. Philippa died at the age of fifty-six from an illness closely related to edema. The Queen's College, Oxford was founded in her honour.


Philippa was born in Valenciennes in the County of Hainaut in the Low Countries, a daughter of William I, Count of Hainaut, and Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainaut, granddaughter of Philip III of France.[9] She was one of eight children and the second of five daughters. Her eldest sister Margaret married the German king Louis IV in 1324; and in 1345, she succeeded their brother William II, Count of Hainaut, upon his death in battle. William's counties of Zealand and Holland as well as of the seigniory of Frieze were devolved to Margaret after agreement between Philippa and her sister.[10] Edward III of England, however, in 1364–65, in the name of his wife Philippa, demanded the return of Hainaut and other inheritances which had been given over to the Dukes of Bavaria–Straubing. He was not successful, as it was the custom in these regions to favour male heirs.[11]

Other Languages