Blanche DE CASTILLE 
- Born: 4 Mar 1188, Palencia, Castille, Spain
- Marriage: Roi Louis VIII DE FRANCE, Dit "Le Lion"  on 23 May 1200 in Port-Mort, Normandie, France
- Died: 27 Nov 1252, Melun, Ile de France, France at age 64
Sources, Comments and Notes:
"Blanche de Castille, (née le 4_mars 1188 à Palencia, Castille - morte le 27 novembre 1252 à Melun), reine de France, est la fille d'Alphonse VIII de Castille et d'Aliénor d'Angleterre, elle-même fille d'Aliénor d'Aquitaine et d'Henri II Plantagenêt : elle est donc la nièce du roi Jean sans Terre. Comme prévu dans le traité du Goule signé entre les rois de France et d'Angleterre cette même année, elle est mariée à Port-Mort en 1200 au futur Louis VIII, fils de Philippe-Auguste.
Elle a été choisie parmi ses sœurs par sa grand-mère Aliénor d'Aquitaine âgée alors de 80 ans, qui juge son caractère comme correspondant le mieux à une reine de France.
Elle donne au roi douze enfants dont des jumeaux. Elle donne naissance de nombreux fils ce qui contraste avec les grandes inquiétudes en manque d'héritier mâle des règnes précédents de Louis VII et Philippe Auguste ce qui, couplé avec son esprit et sa grande piété en font une reine très appréciée. Cinq de ces enfants seulement atteignent l'âge adulte, quatre meurent durant l'adolescence et les autres en bas âge.
Régente de France à la suite de la mort de Louis VIII en 1226, elle doit faire face à de fortes contestations mais triomphe des ligues formées contre elle et le pouvoir royal. En 1229, elle permet notamment le traité de Meaux-Paris qui met fin au conflit albigeois.
Parallèlement, elle relaie l'œuvre réformatrice de Bernard de Clairvaux (†1153) et fonde les abbayes de Royaumont (1228), de Maubuisson (1236) et du Lys (1244).
Elle gouverne également la France alors que son fils saint Louis est parti aux croisades.
Aussi célèbre par sa beauté que par sa sagesse, on raconte qu'elle inspire une vive passion à Thibaut de Champagne, qui la seconde dans sa politique et la chante dans ses vers.
Elle installe en 1251 dans l'Abbaye de Juilly un orphelinat pour les enfants de chevaliers morts en croisade.
Retirée à Melun vers la fin de sa vie, elle y meurt en 1252."
"Blanche of Castile (Blanca de Castilla in Spanish; 4 March 1188 \endash 26 November 1252), was a Queen consort of France as the wife of Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX.
She was born in Palencia, Spain, 1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, and Eleanor of England. Eleanor was a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
In her youth, she visited the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, founded by her father, several times. Later in life, she would establish Cisterian abbeys and would be buried in one eventually.
In consequence of the Treaty of Le Goulet between Philip Augustus and John of England, Blanche's sister Urraca was betrothed to Philip's son, Louis. Their grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine, upon getting acquainted with the two sisters, judged that Blanche's personality was more fit for a queen consort of France. In the spring of 1200 Eleanor crossed the Pyrenees with her and brought her to France instead
On 22 May 1200 the treaty was finally signed, John ceding with his niece the fiefs of Issoudun and Graçay, together with those that André de Chauvigny, lord of Châteauroux, held in Berry, of the English crown. The marriage was celebrated the next day, at Port-Mor on the right bank of the Seine, in John's domains, as those of Philip lay under an interdict.
The marriage was only consummated after a few years, and Blanche bore her first child in 1205.
During the English baron's rebellion of 1215-16 against King John, it was Blanche's English ancestry as granddaughter to Henry II that led to Louis being offered the throne of England as Louis I. However, with the death of John in October 1216, the barons changed their allegiance to John's son, the nine-year-old Henry.
Louis continued to claim the English crown in her right, only to find a united nation against him. Philip Augustus refused to help his son, and Blanche was his sole support. She established herself at Calais and organized two fleets, one of which was commanded by Eustace the Monk, and an army under Robert of Courtenay. With French forces defeated at Lincoln in May 1217 and then routed on their way back to their London stronghold, Louis desperately needed the reinforcements from France. On 24 August, the English fleet destroyed the French fleet carrying those reinforcements off Sandwich and Louis was forced to sue for peace.
Regency ... Queen Mother ...
Second Regency and Death
In 1248 Blanche again became regent, during Louis IX's absence on the Crusade, a project which she had strongly opposed. In the disasters which followed she maintained peace, while draining the land of men and money to aid her son in the East. She fell ill at Melun in November 1252, and was taken to Paris, but lived only a few days. She was buried at Maubuisson Abbey, which had been established by her. Louis only heard of her death in the following spring and reportedly did not speak to anyone for two days afterwards.
- Blanche (1205\endash 1205).
- Agnes (1207\endash 1207).
- Philip (9 September 1209 \endash before July 1218), betrothed in July 1215 to Agnes of Donzy.
-Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of John.
- John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of Alphonse.
- Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 \endash 25 August 1270, Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.
- Robert (25 September 1216 \endash 9 February 1250, killed in battle, Manssurah, Egypt)
- Philip (20 February 1218\endash 1234).
- John Tristan (21 July 1219\endash 1232), Count of Anjou and Maine.
- Alphonse (Poissy, 11 November 1220 \endash 21 August 1271, Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by marriage, of Toulouse.
- Philippe Dagobert (20 February 1222\endash 1232).
- Isabelle (14 April 1225 \endash 23 February 1269).
- Charles (21 March 1227 \endash 7 January 1285), Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of Provence and Folcalquier, and King of Sicily."
Blanche married Roi Louis VIII DE FRANCE, Dit "Le Lion"  [MRIN: 219], son of Roi Philippe II DE FRANCE, "Philippe Auguste" & "Dieudonné"  and Isabelle DE HAINAUT , on 23 May 1200 in Port-Mort, Normandie, France. (Roi Louis VIII DE FRANCE, Dit "Le Lion"  was born on 5 Sep 1187 in Paris, Ile de France, France and died on 8 Nov 1226 in Chateau de Montpensier, Auvergne, France.)