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13-Jun-2020 20:01

The Pope, on receiving a complaint from Theobald of Champagne on his disparaged sister’s/niece’s/cousin’s behalf, immediately reversed the annulment and put Ralph and Petronella under interdict.“Raoul divorced in 1151, as he remarried the next year.Still, in the great scheme of things, it’s a minor conundrum.Some time after 1124 and before 1130 is the bottom line. Petronella had associations with Charlemagne from whom she and Eleanor claimed descent.Petronilla remained a member of the French royal court and a constant companion to her sister Eleanor while she was imprisoned by her husband King Henry II in England and Wales.After Henry’s death, Eleanor was freed, and Petronilla planned on returning to France. It is believed that she came down with a fever on her voyage from England back to France and died in early 1190 before her arrival at port.It may also be telling that the cathedral in Poitiers is dedicated to St Peter, who seems to have loomed large in the lives of the Dukes of Aquitaine and Petronella is the feminine form of the name.Or she could have been baptised Petronella and called Aelith.

Records of Petronella before 1189 are hardly leaping out of the woodwork, and I suspect that here ‘scarce’ is a euphemism for ‘non existent.’ The article erroneously says that Eleanor was imprisoned some of the time in Wales which is untrue. The above source has Petronella buried at the Priory of Saint Arnould de Crepy.

It seems therefore likely that she was born fairly close to Eleanor, perhaps in 1125 or 1126.