Eleanor of Aquitaine was married twice, first to King Louis VII of France (a Capet) with whom she had two daughters, and their marriage ended in divorce. Her second marriage was to King Henry II of England (a Plantagenet of French origin) with whom she had eight children.
Eventually, most of Eleanor’s children and their descendants in France and England were brutally executed by political rivals under various false pretenses. For example, Henry Tudor (who was not a royal) stole the throne by killing King Richard III (a Plantagenet) at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, and then he claimed that he was legally entitled to it because he married the daughter of the previous Plantagenet king, Edward IV of England who died in 1483. However, she was not Edward’s daughter. It was common knowledge that Edward had been separated from his wife for eleven months before this child was born. Obviously she wasn’t his, and so she was not in a position to give legitimacy to Henry Tudor by marrying him. And so Henry Tudor had a problem. The Tudors hunted down the real Plantagenets in order to stop them from reclaiming the throne. One example of that was Henry Tudor’s order to execute Margaret Pole, a niece of King Edward IV and his brother King Richard III. Tudor had the executioner hack at her with an ax over and over again. She died after he hacked her neck eighteen times.
Anyone with blood ties to the Plantagenets was suspected of coveting the throne and was therefore a target.
Additionally, the Tudors also spread malicious gossip about the Plantagenets which continues to persist to this day even in the United States. Americans are not obligated to support Henry Tudor or even Elizabeth II who has been Queen since 1952, and yet the Tudors’ myths about the Plantagenets lives here. For example, one myth was that the Plantagenets habitually imposed high taxes so that they could live in luxury and expand their territories. In truth, they spent all of their money on the Crusades and the Knights Templar in Jerusalem. They didn’t spend taxpayers’ money on land; they expanded their territories by marrying into families that owned enormous properties which formed alliances where a network of different families worked together to protect each others’ properties and interests.
Eventually, many of the Plantagenet’s descendants who survived moved out of Great Britain and France. Many moved to the American Colonies, and all of the U.S. Presidents except for one was related to the Plantagenets.
Also many moved to Australia. The last Plantagenet King of England, Richard III, who was killed in 1485, has a living descendant in Australia. British genealogists say that he is the real king of England.
If the Plantagenet’s descendants were to have a family reunion at their ancestors’ ancient headquarters, it would be Chateau de Chinon near Anjou in central France, which is where the Plantagenet kings of England lived until they were chased out of France by the French King Philip Augustus. To read about the castle click on this link. After King Philip chased them out of their homeland, where they had been the Counts of Anjou for hundreds of years.
In truth, the Plantagenets were Angevins, native to Anjou in central France, and they had been selected by the Catholic Archbishop to defend Anjou from the Vikings who had a habit of invading France. During the Crusades they worked for the Pope at the Vatican in Italy, and their job was to establish Jerusalem as a Christian state. The Plantagenets paid for the Knights of the Templar by selling nearly all of their personal possessions and then by raising taxes in England.
Fast forward to 1985 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and behold a chubby red headed girl named Katie with no awareness of her family tree, being raised by an oblivious single father with a failing business law practice. He knew nothing about his great grandfather, not even his name.
Fast forward to 2014 and bored Katie finally subscribed to Ancestry.com which revealed dad’s mysterious great grandfather: A disabled veteran from the Civil War named Henry Mallory. The website continued to make more connections by using birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, and things like that. Eventually it led to Sir Knight Ralph Percy. And then it led to Mary of Lancaster. And then Edmund Crouchback, the son of King Henry III. And then Henry II and his paternal grandfathers, the Counts of Anjou. And then William the Conqueror.
They had portraits painted and so I saw them. They had my red hair, my stocky build, my stoic stare, my over-sized chin, and my height. They had a bad temper, which I had but had grown out of before I turned thirty, and they were overly pragmatic and concrete just like me.
There’s an old myth that the Plantagenets had genetic supernatural powers. People have called me a magician over the years but the things that I do are just basic science experiments for kids, such as making a dice stick to a wall. If there is an element of true magic it’s in my artistic talent, and everyone knows that the French are famous for their artistic flair and so it’s a French trait that is not exclusive to the Plantagenet family.