Elizabeth of Poland
Queen Consort of Hungary and Regent of Poland.
Born 1305 – Died 1380
Claim to Fame: a fiery woman whose power came to a catastrophic end.
Elizabeth, a Polish royal, was married in her teens to Charles I of Hungary, and bore him five sons (pictured above) and possibly two daughters.
While at court in Hungary, Elizabeth introduced perfume to Europe.
After her husbands death, Elizabeth used her influence to arrange two prestigious marriages for her son Louis, and her family connections made Louis monarch over both Poland and Hungary, though she held much of the power.
In 1344 Elizabeth bribed Pope Clement VI to have her son Andrew crowned King of Naples along with his wife Joanna I of Naples. This decision was so unpopular that Andrew was soon assassinated.
Louis was absent from Poland from 1370-1375, leaving Elizabeth as regent. Her domineering nature clashed with disaffected Polish subjects at court, resulting in the murder 160 of her Hungarian bodyguards and Elizabeth fleeing for her life in 1375. Louis undermined his mother by siding with the rebels to strengthen his own power.
Following her harrowing regency, Elizabeth spent her final years in a monastery.