Princess Joan 'the
Fair Maid of Kent' lived in the 14th century. She was the daughter of Prince
Edmund, the brother of King Edward
II. He was executed by the King's enemies
when she was only 2.
Joan was brought up
by her mother and Queen Philippa, the wife of her cousin, King Edward
III. She was very beautiful and liked to have fun. She danced with the
King at the famous Garter Ball.
When she was 13,
her mother made her marry the son of the Earl
of Salisbury. But it turned out she was already
married to Sir Thomas Holland! So the Salisbury marriage was set aside.
Thomas & Joan
became the Earl and Countess of Kent and had 5
children, but Thomas was killed in the war with the French.
Edward III's son,
the Black Prince, thought Joan should marry
his friend, Sir Bernard Brocas. But she
loved the Prince and told him so. So the two were married in St.
Edward's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Joan and her new
husband had a wild time ruling Aquitaine in France for 9 years. They wore the
latest fashions and held magnificent parties and jousts at Bordeaux and
Back in England,
they lived at Kennington Palace (Surrey) and Wallingford
Castle (Berkshire); but the Prince became ill and died.
Joan still looked
after her son. He soon became King Richard
II. His uncle ran the country until he was old enough. They often fell out
but Joan would get them to make up again.
Peasants' Revolt against Richard and his uncle, Joan managed to escape because
the peasants liked her so much, but the leaders wanted a kiss first!
Later Joan became
very ill. She got so fat that she couldn't stand up. At the same time, her
son, John Holland, was arrested for murder. Joan thought he would be executed
and died of a broken heart at Wallingford Castle.