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Empress Matilda
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    (circa February 7, 1102-September 10, 1167)
    Born in Winchester, United Kingdom
    Queen of England (April 7, 1141-November 1, 1141)
    Holy Roman Empress
    Daughter of Henry I
    Mother of Henry II by second husband Geoffrey of Anjou
    Her reign over England lasted less than a year.
    She was never officially crowned.
    Her dispute over the throne with her cousin Stephen of Blois plunged the country into civil war for years.
    Londoners at first supported her but turned against her when she refused to lower taxes.
    Starry-eyed (and inaccurate) historical novels sometimes present her and Stephen as lovers.
    She was England’s first female monarch.
    She was betrothed at age seven and married at eleven.
    Her first husband was Holy Roman Emperor Henry V.
    Her brother William (the original heir to the throne) drowned in a shipwreck.
    Stephen broke a promise to her father that he would support her claim to the throne.
    She lost the throne to Stephen, but her son succeeded him and founded the great Plantagenet dynasty.

Credit: Georgina

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