Margaret of Anjou

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Margaret of Anjou (French: Marguerite d'Anjou) (23 March 1430[1][2] – 25 August 1482) was the wife of King Henry VI of England. As such, she was Queen consort of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471; and Queen consort of France from 1445 to 1453.[3] Born in the Duchy of Lorraine, into the House of Valois-Anjou, Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René I of Naples and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

She was one of the principal figures in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses, having led the Lancastrian faction. Due to Henry's frequent bouts of insanity, Margaret ruled the kingdom in her husband's place. It was she who, in May 1455, called for a Great Council which excluded the Yorkist faction, and thus provided the spark which ignited the civil conflict that lasted for over thirty years, decimated the old nobility, and caused the deaths of thousands of men, including her only son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales.

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Early life and marriage

Margaret was born on 23 March 1430, in Pont-à-Mousson in the Duchy of Lorraine, an Imperial fief east of France that was ruled by the cadet branch of the French kings, the House of Valois-Anjou. Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René I of Naples, Duke of Anjou and Bar, King of Naples and Sicily and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

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