January 31, 1246 – On this day (and as a result of the earlier secret conclave at Cluny) Beatrice, Countess of Provence, marries Charles d’Anjou, brother of Louis IX at Aix in Provence.
A list of “medieval celebrities” are present at the marriage, including: the bride’s sister Marguerite (Queen of France) and her husband Louis IX; Blanche of Castile, Dowager Queen of France; the Dowager Countess Beatrice of Provence; and the bride’s prestigious Savoyard Uncles (Thomas and Count Amadeus IV). When the groom complains noisily that the event lacks sufficient grandeur (he had expected a magnificent affair in Sens or Paris), Marguerite is NOT amused. Eleanor of Provence will learn of her sister’s marriage into the Capetian line only after-the-fact, and she will be furious.
December 1245 – A secret conclave at Cluny (attended by Pope Innocent IV and the French royals) arranges to bring Beatrice of Provence into the Capetian family. Beatrice, who had inherited Provence upon the death of Count Raymond Berenger V, is a glittering matrimonial prize—with the balance of power in the Midi hinging upon her alliance.
Louis IX is highly pleased to secure Beatrice as the bride for his younger brother, Charles de Anjou (thus drawing Provence into the sphere of influence of the French crown). Henry III of England, hearing of the conclave after the fact, is furious, feeling his interests have been betrayed by Eleanor’s Savoyard relations, including Boniface of Savoy whom he had named Archbishop of Canterbury.