Eleanor of Aquitaine, that indominable Lady and Queen, who insisted on accompanying her (1st) husband, Louis VII of France (also known as Louis the Younger) on the second crusade, much to the outrage of Abbot Sugar.
Along the way (which I know is a ridiculous understatement), Eleanor stopped to "visit" her uncle, Raymond the Prince of Antioch.
It is one of the mysteries of history whether Eleanor and Raymond had an "affair" while she tarried in Antioch.
I think she did....what does everyone else think?
I've always been torn on this issue. Eleanor was either cheating or she was very pissed at Louis and wanted to challenge him. The fact that she was so adament about taking Raymond's side against her husband, and the fact that she spent way too much time "closeted" with Raymond certainly raised suspicions then and now.
But not much is said about the state of Eleanor and Raymond's marriage during the first part of the Crusade. Were they having marital problems that made Eleanor relieved to have family she could spend time with in order to get away from her husband? Was it an innocent diversion or an affair? If they weren't having problems than why would Eleanor have chosen to support her uncle rather than her husband? Did she support Raymond in order to enrage Louis, or because she had fallen for Raymond? All questions that have been swimming around in my head, and I haven't come up with a satisfactory answer yet. I don't think that spending so much time with her uncle, and fighting with her husband, is evidence for an affair...but then again it doesn't rule out the possibility either.
Eleanor was a "21st century" woman born in the middle ages!
She made SURE no one could, for a certainty, say she did or did not have the affair. She was outrageous in all she did, (heck, she even wore MAKEUP !). So this whole thing may have been carefully staged to make a point to Louis. Of course it was so well staged that she may have figured, "Oh, what the hay...may as well enjoy it too!"
Eleanor was intelligent, shrewd and savvy, years later when Henry II would have her "locked up", she still had a better spy network than he did!
Louis may have THOUGHT there was some hanky-panky going on there between Eleanor & Raymond. Didn't Pypur's Crusades pages say something about Louis having Eleanor & her entire retinue forcibly removed from Antioch & dispatched back to France? Was it JUST because they were quarrelling about which city to attack first.....or was it because Eleanor's support of Raymond's position on the issue was a little bit too enthusiastic for Louis' liking?
Louis packing her back to France is one of the things I personally find telling that there very well may have been an affair.