kids encyclopedia robot

Catherine I, Latin Empress facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Catherine I
Marchioness of Namur
Lady of Courteney, Mortargis and Balcon
Tombeau Catherine de Courtenay.jpg
Latin Empress
Reign 15 December 1283 – 11 October 1307
Predecessor Philip I
Successor Catherine II
Born 25 November 1274
Died 11 October 1307 (aged 32)
Paris, France
Burial Maubuisson Abbey, Paris
Spouse Charles of Valois
Issue John, Count of Chartres
Catherine II, Latin Empress
Joanna of Valois
Isabella of Valois
House Courtenay
Father Philip of Courtenay
Mother Beatrice of Sicily
Religion Roman Catholic

Catherine I, also Catherine of Courtenay (25 November 1274 – 11 October 1307), was the recognised Latin Empress of Constantinople from 1283 to 1307, although she lived in exile and only held authority over Crusader States in Greece. In 1301, she became the second wife of Charles of Valois, by whom she had one son and three daughters; the eldest of these, Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea succeeded her as titular empress.


She was born on 25 November 1274, the only daughter and heir of the titular Emperor of Constantinople Philip I of Courtenay by Beatrice of Sicily.

Upon her father's death on 15 December 1283, Catherine inherited his claims to the Latin throne of Constantinople and was recognized as empress by the Latin states in Greece, despite the city having been re-taken by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261.

Catherine was betrothed three times before her marriage:

—Firstly, in 1288, with Michael IX Palaiologos, co-Byzantine Emperor; this union was proposed by the intended groom's father Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos in the hope of reducing the threat of restoring the power of the Latins in the Byzantine Empire and reconciling with both the Holy See and the European monarchs, who frightened Constantinople with a new Crusade; however, after several years of fruitless negotiations and the decisive objection from the French king, the purposed union was abandoned by 1295, when Michael IX was already married.

—Secondly, in June 1295, with Infante Frederick of Aragon, son of King Peter III. As a condition of this betrothal, the intended groom promised to renounce his rights to the Kingdom of Sicily and give help to reconquer the Latin Empire of Constantinople, but this proposal was opposed by the French king and the betrothal was terminated.

—Thirdly, on 24 January 1299 to Infante James of Majorca, son of King James II. Since the couple were too closely related, the condition for the marriage was dispensation from Pope Boniface VIII, which was never granted. Instead, James decided to remove himself from the line of succession of the Kingdom of Majorca and take the habit.

Finally, on 28 February 1301 at the Priory of St. Cloud near Paris, Catherine became in the second wife of Count Charles of Valois, son of King Philip III of France. On 23 April 1301, Charles became titular Latin Emperor with Catherine until her death in Paris on 11 October 1307 at the age of 32. She was buried at the abbey of Maubuisson the following day, 12 October. Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar served as one of her pallbearers.


By Charles of Valois, Catherine I had four children:

  • John, Count of Chartres (1302–1308).
  • Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea, titular Empress of Constantinople (before 15 April 1303 – October 1346). She married Philip I of Anjou, Prince of Taranto and had issue.
  • Joan of Valois (1304 – 9 July 1363). Married Count Robert III of Artois and had issue.
  • Isabella of Valois (1305 – 11 November 1349), Abbess of Fontevrault.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Catalina de Courtenay para niños

kids search engine
Catherine I, Latin Empress Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.