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The First Female Monarch Crowned King

 

Jadwiga, the youngest daughter of Louis I the Great, became the ruler of Poland on October 16, 1384. Thanks to a quirk in Polish law, however, the young girl, also known as Hedwig, was crowned king, not queen. She is one of about five women in history to take the masculine title.

A Royal Twist Of Fate

As the youngest daughter of the king, it was never expected that Jadwiga would become ruler of Poland. Louis' eldest daughter, Catherine, was expected to one day rule the thrones of Poland and Hungary, but Catherine outlived her father. The throne was then to go to the second eldest daughter, Mary, but Poland decided against continuing the Crown of personal union with Hungary and accepted Mary's fiancée, Sigismund, the future Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary. had refused to do. The next choice was Jadwiga, then 10 years old, who traveled from her native Hungary to Poland, where she was crowned at the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow. According to Polish law, there was to be a king in the country, but it did not say that the king had to be a man. Rather than rewrite the law, and to make it clear that she was not just a queen consort, the younger Hedwig was crowned king.


The Girl King

Despite her tender age, Jadwiga was an influential leader. She was well educated, and spoke at least six different languages, including Polish, Latin, Hungarian, Serbian, Bosnian, and German. Jadwiga's mother, Elizabeth of Bosnia, was to serve as regent until Jadwiga came of age, but because of Jadwiga's astonishing maturity and leadership skills, it was decided that a regency was not necessary. She was so charitable, scholarship, and financed new hospitals, that she was venerated by the Roman Catholic Church as the patron saint of queens. He also donated his crown jewels for the renovation and modernization of the University of Krakow.


Married At 12

As Jadwiga's coronation came to an end, the choice of her future husband became the most important debate in the country. Jadwiga wanted to marry her childhood friend, William of Austria, the son of Leopold III and Viridis Visconti; In fact, they were already engaged informally, but the nobles had other plans. It was determined that marriage to King Jogaila of Lithuania would be most beneficial to Poland, so she did what was best for her land, annulled her engagement to William, and married the 26-year-old king. Did it

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