by Susan Flantzer
Born at Windsor Castle on September 29, 1240, Margaret was the second of the five children of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. She was named after maternal aunt Margaret of Provence, Queen of France and St. Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of pregnant women. Eleanor of Provence had prayed to St. Margaret of Antioch during Margaret’s difficult birth.
Margaret had four siblings:
- King Edward I of England (1239 – 1307), married (1) Eleanor of Castile, had issue including his heir King Edward II (2) Margaret of France, had issue
- Beatrice (1242 – 1275), married John II, Duke of Brittany, had issue
- Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster (1245–1296), married (1) Aveline de Forz, no issue (2) Blanche of Artois, had issue
- Katherine (1253 – 1257)
In 1244, Margaret’s father King Henry III of England met with King Alexander II of Scotland in Newcastle, England for peace negotiations. King Alexander II’s first wife had been King Henry III’s sister Joan, so there was a family relationship. Alexander II’s marriage to Joan had been childless, but he had one child, Alexander, with his second wife Marie de Coucy. The two kings decided that their two children should marry, and so Margaret was betrothed that same year to Alexander. Alexander’s father died on July 8, 1249 and he became King Alexander III at the age of seven.
On December 26, 1251 at York Minster in York, England, 11-year-old Margaret became Queen of Scots when she married 10-year-old King Alexander III. The wedding celebrations were festive and attended by many people including 1,000 English and 600 Scottish knights. The young couple remained in York for a month before traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Young Margaret was lonely and uncomfortable in her new home. Because of Margaret and Alexander’s young age, the marriage was not consummated for some time. Margaret complained to her parents that she was not allowed to live with her husband and was held in an almost captive-like situation. A visit back to England to see her mother was not allowed. Queen Eleanor then sent Reginald of Bath to her daughter, who confirmed her depressed state. In 1255, King Henry III of England sent envoys to Scotland demanding better conditions for his daughter. It was agreed that as Margaret and Alexander were now fourteen, they should be allowed to consummate their marriage and that Margaret would be allowed to travel regularly to England. In 1261, Margaret and Alexander’s first child, a daughter also named Margaret, was born at Windsor Castle in England while Margaret was on a visit to her parents.
Margaret and Alexander had three children:
- Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway (1261 – 1283), married King Eric II of Norway, died in childbirth giving birth to her only child Margaret, Maid of Norway, disputed Queen of Scots for four years
- Alexander (1264 – 1284), whose death caused a succession issue, married Margaret of Flanders, no issue
- David (1272 – 1281), died young
Margaret and her husband attended the coronation of her brother King Edward I of England on August 19, 1274 at Westminster Abbey, but Margaret only lived for six more months. At the age of 34, she died on February 26, 1275 at Cupar Castle in Fife, Scotland and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland where many Scottish royals were buried.
Abrufstatistik. “Margarete von England.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2016.
“Alexander III of Scotland.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Dec. 2016.
“Margaret of England.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Nov. 2016. Web. 24 Dec. 2016.
Williamson, David. Brewer’s British Royalty. London: Cassell, 1996. Print.