On This Day In Her Story #13: Conclave at Cluny Serves French Interests, Betrays English Interests
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.