House of Anjou

The house of Anjou, also known as the house of Plantagenet, sat on England's throne from 1154 until 1399 and was continued in the male line through the branches of the house of Lancaster and York until 1485. Henry II (r. 1154-1189), the first Plantagenet monarch, was the son of Matilda (1102-1167), daughter of Henry I (r. 1100-1135), youngest son of William I (r. 1066-1087), and Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou, Duke of Normandy (1113-1151). It is believed that the Plantagenet surname came from the flower Geoffrey wore in his hat (planta genista) and was not used until the fifteenth century by Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460), to show his relation in the male line to the Plantagenet family. Two of Henry II's surviving sons predeceased him and he was succeeded, successively, by two others, Richard I (r. 1189-1199) and John (r. 1199-1216). John's direct descendants then sat on the throne in the form of Henry III (r. 1216-1272); Edward I (r. 1272-1307); Edward II (r. 1307-1327); Edward III (r. 1327-1377); and Richard II (r. 1377-1399, d. 1400). Richard II, son of Edward the Black Prince (1330-1376), Edward III's eldest son who had predeceased him, was deposed and, most likely, murdered by his cousin, Henry IV (r. 1399-1413, the first Lancastrian monarch), the son of Edward III's third surviving son, John of Gaunt (1340-1399). The male line of the Plantagenets continued to reign through the houses of Lancaster and York.

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