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Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William the Conqueror and, as such, Queen consort of the Kingdom of England. She bore William nine children, including two kings, William II and Henry I.

Matilda, or Maud, was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Adèle of France, herself daughter of Robert II of France. According to legend, when Duke William II of Normandy (later known as William the Conqueror) sent his representative to ask for Matilda's hand in marriage, she told the representative that she was far too high-born to consider marrying a bastard. After hearing this response, William rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse by her long braids, threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants and rode off. Another version of the story states that William rode to Matilda's father's house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by her braids), and hit her (or violently battered her) before leaving. Naturally, Baldwin took offense at this but, before they could draw swords, Matilda settled the matter by refusing to marry anyone but William; even a papal ban by Pope Leo IX at the Council of Reims on the grounds of consanguinity did not dissuade her. William and Matilda were married after a delay in c.1051-2.

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Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William the Conqueror and, as such, Queen consort of the Kingdom of England. She bore William nine children, including two kings, William II and Henry I.

Matilda, or Maud, was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Adèle of France, herself daughter of Robert II of France. According to legend, when Duke William II of Normandy (later known as William the Conqueror) sent his representative to ask for Matilda's hand in marriage, she told the representative that she was far too high-born to consider marrying a bastard. After hearing this response, William rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse by her long braids, threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants and rode off. Another version of the story states that William rode to Matilda's father's house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by her braids), and hit her (or violently battered her) before leaving. Naturally, Baldwin took offense at this but, before they could draw swords, Matilda settled the matter by refusing to marry anyone but William; even a papal ban by Pope Leo IX at the Council of Reims on the grounds of consanguinity did not dissuade her. William and Matilda were married after a delay in c.1051-2. More...

 
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