King Richard the Lionheart

King Richard, born on 8 September 1157 in the Palace of Beaumont at Oxford, was brought up in Poitiers at the court of his mother Queen Mother Eleanor

King Richard
  • At his mother's court Richard heard the troubadours sing their songs of courtly love and chivalry, becoming aware of a new notion that women were worthy of high regard and should be loved with a noble passion.
  • When fourteen years old, he became Duke of Aquitaine and at seventeen had his first taste of war when he rebelled against his father.
  • Richard became heir to the throne when his elder brother Young Henry died but has spent little time in England - as soon as he was crowned he set off on crusade.
  • This page provides a Portrait of a King and demonstrates he is a Committed Christian.
Portrait of a King

Tall in stature, graceful in figure, King Richard has long straight limbs, his father's red-gold hair and startling blue-grey eyes. He is a fine horseman and swordsman, holding a commanding appearance. Bold, daring and dashing, he shines in war, loves pageantry and dressing-up in fine magnificent clothes.

Always cool and patient in the execution of his plans, he displays boldness in carrying them out. Though he rejoices in personal combat, he is soon bored by tournaments: his taste is for real warfare for which he has a natural flair. Courageous, often to the point of recklessness, he is in love with war and it is to war that he applies all the powers of his mind and body. He does not play at it: to fight under his leadership means to be led from one victory to another, never swerving from the purpose of defeating the enemy.

Just like his father, he is prone to fits of terrible rage and can sometimes be harsh and cruel, often showing his enemies no mercy. Astonishingly though, he can be generous to those who have personally injured him. The troubadour and poet Bertrand de Born plotted against him in Aquitaine but Richard forgave him and even gave him the kiss of peace.

He may be ruthless in gaining his own ends and can be sometimes cruel and predatory but he possesses a taste for music and poetry inherited from his mother Queen Eleanor. Often playing the troubadour himself, he has written and composed several songs in French and Provencal. He greatly enjoys church music, walking amongst the choir urging them with both voice and hand to sing with greater gusto.Our King speaks his mind and was nicknamed Yea or Nay by a troubadour, not because he was forever changing his mind, but because his words were always to the point.

More imaginative and generous than his father, he is as hasty to forgive as he is to offend, rising above the past with magnamanity.William Marshall fought loyally with his father King Henry against Richard but when Richard became king he rewarded William's loyalty to his father by providing him with an heiress in marriage and sent him to England to act in his name.

Richard showed little love for his father, mainly because he would not grant him more power and independence, but he has a great affection for his mother. She calls him the great one and they are devoted to each other. Mother and son have similar characters - both can be frivolous and both possess an odd sense of humour.

Committed Christian

Richard admires legendary heroes such as the Paladins of Charlemagne and King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table where chivalry was strictly observed and women were worthy of high regard.

A deeply committed Christian, he has a special devotion to the shrine at Bury St.Edmunds, probably because of his admiration for St. Edmund who, as an English king, stood steadfast against barbarian invaders.

Richard was the first prince to take the cross for a crusade that appeals to his very nature. Inspired himself by a cause that provides a chance to charge at the head of his knights in a holy crusade, he also inspires his followers.

Our King may rarely visit England but everyone knows that this sacred enterprise on which he has embarked will bring a blessing upon himself and upon every citizen in the kingdom. Everyone will stand and cheer when our splendid, courageous King returns triumphantly from the Holy Land after rescuing the Holy City from the infidel.

for all books and videos of Richard the Lionheart.

King Sets Off
Two Kings in Sicily
Siege of Acre
Marriage Arranged
King Richard Weds
Arrival at Acre
Acre Falls
Battle of Arsuf
Retreat from Holy City
King Richard's Crusade


Saladin Defeated at Jaffa
King Richard Captured
Eleanor of Aquitaine
William Marshall
Earl John
Chancellor Longchamps
Double Dealing
Attack on Nottm. Castle

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