Henry the Young King

Born: 28th February 1155, London

Son of Henry II, King of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine

Married: Margaret of France

Reigned: 14th June 1170 – 11th June 1183

Died: 11th June 1183, Castle of Martel, France

Henry the Young King was not a usual king. This was because he was crowned while his father, Henry II was still alive. At the time, this was common practice on the continent and particularly common in France, in which the eldest son would be crowned king to rule in association with his father.

Henry the Young King was crowned twice. Firstly, in 1170 in Westminster Abbey by Roger of York as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, who would traditionally have led the coronation, was exile due to issues with Henry II. A second coronation was arranged for Young Henry and his wife, Margaret of France in August 1172 at Winchester Cathedral. The couple had one son, William born in June 1177 but sadly died 3 days later.

King Henry II had ruled himself from a young age as the first Plantagenet King of England. He had forged alliances and through marriage gain titles and land. This he wanted to divide between his sons to keep control. However, Henry the Younger and his two brothers and mother did not agree. They felt the kingdom should remain intact and planned a rebellion. They gained support from Scotland and many barons in England and Normandy. Despite this, the revolt failed. And Henry the Young King was defeated. He died aged 28 in France.

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