*Four* Women to Know: Marguerite, Sanchia, Eleanor and Beatrice

The most celebrated and powerful women of their time. — Nancy Goldstone

(images via Wikimedia Commons)

Sanchia, Eleanor, Margaret and Beatrice -- these four sisters would go on to rule half of 13th century Europe.

Margaret, the eldest daughter, married King Louis IX of France at age 12, when she left her sisters behind in Provence and changed her name to Queen Marguerite. From there, each of the sisters married a man who was either already king or ascending the throne -- Eleanor in England, Beatrice in Sicily and Sanchia in Germany.

Medieval scholars admired the sisters' accomplishments in youth (they were avid falconers and proficient in multiple languages), but later diplomats recognized the true power each sister held in her position: in setting up marriages amongst the royals across Europe, solidifying their family's influence for generations.

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