Marketa Přemyslovna: The Czech princess died 700 years ago in childbirth

Margaret was born in seemingly strong generation of Přemyslids. His older brother Wenceslas III. he was the Czech king for a short time before being assassinated in Olomouc. His older sisters Anna († 22) and Eliška († 38) became princesses Czech queens. Marketa, to whom this reasoning was foreign, could however have thought the same thing. And it is clear that it paid off for her.

The promise of the future

Born probably in Prague, and that February 21, 1296 as the penultimate daughter of the royal couple Wenceslas II. and his first wife, Guta Habskurska († 26). “Later, she played an important role in her father’s dynastic plans when she was seven years old. the wife of Bolek III., later Prince of Lehnice, Wrocław and Břežedescribes the historian Libor Jan in the book Wenceslas II: The King on the Silver Throne.

Unlike Eliška Přemyslovna’s “better known” sister, little is known about Marketa’s childhood. However,already in 1303 he was chosen for Boleslav III. († 60),” says historian Jaroslav Čechura in the book Children and Left-Handed Czech Kings. To his future, who was Wenceslas II. Guardian, so he and Margaret had known each other since he was twelve.

“In 1309, Petr Žitavský clearly states that the then thirteen-year-old third daughter, Mrs Markéta, is married to the Duke of Wrocław, Boleslav,” Čechura continues. At that time, Wenceslas II. was not among the living and the passionate mela between Henry of Carinthia fell to the Czech throne († 70), who married Anna Přemyslovna, a Rudolf of Habsburg († 26). The saying that when the two fight, the third laughsthen acquired a really heavy truth, because in the end he laughed the most John of Luxembourg († 50), became king.

faithful sister-in-law

Marketa tried to be nice to him and her husband Boleslav III did the same, even though he no dowry was paidto which he was entitled. “Before that was it Czech royal daughters received ten thousand silver hryvnias; prosaically expressed they are nearly four tons of precious metals“Describes Čechura. But Václav did not have much money and after his death it was even worse.

Boleslav, who was also considered a potential Czech king after the death of Wenceslas III. instead of a dowry he “took” Duchy of Opava. But only temporarily. In 1311, Boleslav and John of Luxembourg met in Olomouc to “return to King John for eight thousand silver hryvnias the Duchy of Opavawhich previously belonged to the Czech state, and renounced the right to his wife’s dowry”, explains historian Jiří Spěváček in the book Jan Lucemburský a jeho doba: 1296 – 1346″Negotiations have strengthened the bonds between the brothers-in-law. “

An adventurous husband

Which is weird because Boleslav III. was similar to the fickle nature of Jean de Luxembourg. “He did restless for adventurous Nature, in one chronicle, he is even referred to as a “dagger dagger”. Of course, financial uncertainty was also reflected in Marketa’s life.

Intervention in a school in the center of Prague.  (April 7, 2022)

Boleslav was clearly drawn to conflict, he had it everywhere: in the family, in political circles, ”continues Čechura. However, the marriage was quite happy, as it might have been in the Middle Ages – although long-term cohabitation was rare.

At the head of the kingdom

Thanks to Marketa in particular, Boleslav finally received the most honors. Jean de Luxembourg was known for his migratory nature – it is not for nothing that he is nicknamed ours The alien king. He spent several days a year abroad. In 1321 he had the same intention, and he needed someone loyal but capable of administering the Czech Kingdom while he was away.

“Shortly before he left, the king appointed his brother-in-law, Duke Boleslav III, as his representative in the administration of the country. Lehnický, Marketa’s husband, Eliška’s sister,” says Spěváček.”The choice of someone close to the Queen was probably done at her request as a gesture of goodwill on the part of King John,“Spěváček realizes that if Boleslav had not married Marketa, Eliška’s sister, Jan’s decision probably wouldn’t have affected him.

Sad departure of the princess

At that time, Boleslav and Marketa lived more often in the Czech Republic, more often together. Unfortunately, none of them had a clue that their time in the world was running out. Together with Boleslav, at that time she was raising two small sons – Wenceslas († 46) one Louis the Just († 77) who will both become princes of Lehnice after their father. However, the princely couple only enjoyed the third descendant for a very short time.

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“On On April 8, 1322, the daughter of Czech King Wenceslas II died in Hradec Králové during the birth of a boy. Marketa Premyslovna,” the singer says. “She was buried with a boy who was enough at the last minute be baptized in the name of Nicholas, in the church of Zbraslav. “His remains rest there to this day, along with the remains of Wenceslas II. or Eliška Přemyslovna. Jean of Luxembourg even had his children Přemysl Otakar († 2) or Marguerite of Luxembourg († 38) buried there.

View of Hradec Králové from the White Tower. Czech Princess Markéta Přemyslovna died in this town.

Author: David Winter

How was Marketa? As the chroniclers mostly dealt with the people of the rulers and rarely with their wives, there is no easy answer. Nevertheless, Jaroslav Čechura tries to provide it: “She was a sweet, pious and kind woman“, describing. She was popular in the Czech Republic because she did not intrigue against her own sisters, on the contrary, she maintained friendly relations with them. After all, her younger half-sister Anežka († 32 years old) lived in Hradec Králové, where Markéta died, and the city was resigned as a gift.

Boleslav, who survived Marketa for almost 30 years, remained in good relations with the Czech monarchs and the Czech environment. “He enjoyed the confidence of the young Karel, in whose service we meet him abundantly.“Concludes Čechura with the family name, meaning anyone other than Charles IV. († 62), who ascended the Czech throne in 1346.

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