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Joanna of Bourbon

Joanna of Bourbon Queen of France

Queen of France
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Queen of France
Countries France
Occupations Queen
Type Royals
Gender female
Birth 11 February 1338, Vincennes
Death 14 February 1378, Paris (aged 40 years)
Star sign AquariusAquarius
Mother: Isabella of ValoisDuchess of Bourbon
Father: Peter IDuke of Bourbon
Siblings: Blanche of BourbonBonne of BourbonMargaret of BourbonLady of Albret
Spouse: Charles V of France
Children: Charles VI of FranceLouis IDuke of OrléansCatherine of ValoisCountess of Montpensier
The details

Joanna of Bourbon (3 February 1338 – 6 February 1378) was Queen of France by marriage to King Charles V. She acted as his political adviser and was appointed potential regent in case of a minor regency.


Early life

Born in the Château de Vincennes, Joanna was a daughter of Peter I, Duke of Bourbon, and Isabella of Valois, a half-sister of Philip VI of France.

From October 1340 through at least 1343, negotiations and treaties were made for her to marry Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy. The goal was to bring Savoy more closely into French influence.


On 8 April 1350, she married her cousin, the future Charles V of France, at Tain-l'Hermitage. Born thirteen days apart, they both were 12 years old. When Charles ascended the throne in 1364, Joanna became queen of France.

Queen Joanna and Charles V had somewhat of a strained relationship during his tenure as dauphin because of his infidelity with Biette de Casinel, but their relationship improved when after he became King, and reportedly, he sometime confided in her in political and cultural issues and relied on her advice. According to tradition, Joanna was rumored to have taken the poet Hippolyte de Saint-Alphon for a lover, who was the biological father of her child Jean, who was born and died in 1366.

Queen Joanna was described as mentally fragile, and after the birth of her son Louis in 1372, she suffered a complete mental breakdown. This deeply worried Charles V, who made a pilgrimage and offered many prayers for her recovery. When she did recover and regained her normal state of mind in 1373, Charles V appointed her legal guardian and regent of France should he die when his son and heir was still a minor.

Death and burial

Joanna died at the royal residence Hôtel Saint-Pol in Paris, on 6 February 1378 (1377 Old Style), three days after her 40th birthday, and two days after the birth of her youngest child, Catherine. Froissart recorded that Joanna took a bath against her physicians' advice. Soon after, she went into labour and died two days after giving birth. The king was devastated. Her heart was buried in the Cordeliers Convent and her entrails in the Couvent des Célestins. The Couvent des Célestins in Paris was the most important royal necropolis after the Basilica of St Denis. The rest of her remains were then placed at Saint-Denis.


Joanna and Charles had nine children. Two of them reached adulthood:

  1. Joanna (September 1357 – 21 October 1360), interred at Saint-Antoine-des-Champs Abbey.
  2. Bonne (1358 – 7 December 1360, Paris, France), interred beside her older sister.
  3. Joanna (Vincennes, 6 June 1366 – 21 December 1366), interred at Saint Denis Basilica.
  4. Charles VI (3 December 1368 – 22 October 1422), King of France.
  5. Marie (Paris, 27 February 1370 – June 1377, Paris).
  6. Louis (13 March 1372 – 23 November 1407), Duke of Orléans.
  7. Isabella (Paris, 24 July 1373 – 13 February 1377, Paris).
  8. John (1374/76 – died young).
  9. Catherine (Paris, 4 February 1378 – November 1388, buried at Abbaye De Maubuisson, France), m. John of Berry, Count of Montpensier (son of John, Duke of Berry).
  • His existence is disputed.


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