Constance of Arles
Constance of Arles, known as Constance of Provence, was a queen consort of France as the third spouse of King Robert II of France. Born c. 986 Constance was the daughter of William I, count of Provence and Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou and she was the half-sister of Count William II of Provence. Constance was married to King Robert, after his divorce from his second wife, the marriage was stormy, Berthas family opposed her, and Constance was despised for importing her Provençal kinfolk and customs. Roberts friend, Hugh of Beauvais, tried to convince the king to repudiate her in 1007, possibly at her request twelve knights of her kinsman, Fulk Nerra, murdered Beauvais. In 1010 Robert went to Rome, followed by his former wife Bertha, to seek permission to divorce Constance, Pope Sergius IV was not about to allow a consanguineous marriage which had been formally condemned by Pope Gregory V and Robert had already repudiated two wives. After his return according to one source Robert loved his wife more, however, as the condemned clerics left the trial the queen struck out the eye of Stephen.
With the staff which she carried and this was seen as Constance venting her frustration at anyone subverting the prestige of the crown. At Constances urging, her eldest son Hugh Magnus was crowned co-king alongside his father in 1017, but Hugh demanded his parents share power with him, and rebelled against his father in 1025. Constance, however, on learning of her sons rebellion was furious with him, at some point Hugh was reconciled with his parents but shortly thereafter died, probably about age eighteen. Robert and Constance quarrelled over which of their sons should inherit the throne, Robert favored their second son Henry, while Constance favored their third son. Despite his mothers protests and her support by several bishops, Henry was crowned in 1027, however, was not graceful when she didnt get her way. The ailing Fulbert, bishop of Chartres told a colleague that he could attend the ceremony if he traveled slowly to Reims—but he was too frightened of the queen to go at all. Constance encouraged her sons to rebel, and they began attacking and pillaging the towns, son Robert attacked Burgundy, the duchy he had been promised but had never received, and Henry seized Dreux.
At last King Robert agreed to their demands and peace was made which lasted until the kings death, King Robert died on 20 July 1031. Soon afterwards Constance was at odds with both her surviving sons, Constance seized her dower lands and refused to surrender them. Henry fled to Normandy, where he received aid, weapons and he returned to besiege his mother at Poissy but Constance escaped to Pontoise. She only surrendered when Henry began the siege of Le Puiset, Constance died 28 July 1032. and was buried beside her husband Robert at Saint-Denis Basilica. A missing Capetian princess, daughter of King Robert II of France,1990 Moore, the Birth of Popular Heresy,1975
Robert II of France
Robert II, called the Pious or the Wise, was King of the Franks from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet, immediately after his own coronation, Roberts father Hugh began to push for the coronation of Robert. Lewis has observed, in tracing the phenomenon in this line of kings who lacked dynastic legitimacy, ralph Glaber, attributes Hughs request to his old age and inability to control the nobility. Robert was eventually crowned on 25 December 987, Robert had begun to take on active royal duties with his father in the early 990s. In 991, he helped his father prevent the French bishops from trekking to Mousson in the Kingdom of Germany for a synod called by Pope John XV and she was the widow of Arnulf II of Flanders, with whom she had two children. Robert divorced her within a year of his fathers death in 996 and he tried instead to marry Bertha, daughter of Conrad of Burgundy, around the time of his fathers death. She was a widow of Odo I of Blois, but was Roberts cousin, for reasons of consanguinity, Pope Gregory V refused to sanction the marriage, and Robert was excommunicated.
After long negotiations with Gregorys successor, Sylvester II, the marriage was annulled, finally, in 1001, Robert entered into his final and longest-lasting marriage to Constance of Arles, the daughter of William I of Provence. Her southern customs and entourage were regarded with suspicion at court, after his companion Hugh of Beauvais urged the king to repudiate her as well, knights of her kinsman Fulk III, Count of Anjou had Beauvais murdered. The king and Bertha went to Rome to ask Pope Sergius IV for an annulment so they could remarry, after this was refused, he went back to Constance and fathered several children by her. Her ambition alienated the chroniclers of her day, who blamed her for several of the kings decisions and Robert remained married until his death in 1031. Robert was a devout Catholic, hence his sobriquet the Pious and he was musically inclined, being a composer and poet, and made his palace a place of religious seclusion where he conducted the matins and vespers in his royal robes.
Roberts reputation for piety resulted from his lack of toleration for heretics and he is credited with advocating forced conversions of local Jewry. He supported riots against the Jews of Orléans who were accused of conspiring to destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Robert reinstated the Roman imperial custom of burning heretics at the stake. In 1003, his invasion of the Duchy of Burgundy was thwarted, the pious Robert made few friends and many enemies, including his own sons, Hugh and Robert. They turned against their father in a war over power. Hugh died in revolt in 1025, in a conflict with Henry and the younger Robert, King Roberts army was defeated, and he retreated to Beaugency outside Paris, his capital. He died in the middle of the war with his sons on 20 July 1031 at Melun and he was interred with Constance in Saint Denis Basilica and succeeded by his son Henry, in both France and Burgundy