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Polish Rulers And Their Wives and Mothers Through History: Slavs or not?

One of the most touchy topics in every nations history is were their rulers native to their country and their people?

Photo: Wikimedia commons

Let’s be honest: no nation likes to admit that the blood in the veins of their legendary rulers was a blood of different nations. At the same time, the truth is that it happened in every kingdom of this world. It is hard to check which genes were stronger without applying the DNA tests. Fortunately looking at the genealogy of the Polish rulers we can clarify some doubts and answer the questions. The answer lies in the roots of the women who were wives and mothers of the kings.

In this article, we will talk about dynasties of Piast and Jagiellon only. The Piast dynasty is traditionally related to the creation of the Polish nation. The first ruler (not king) of united Poland was Mieszko I.

His wife Dobrawa or Doubravka of Bohemia was a princess of the Przemyślid Dynasty. Due to her marriage with Mieszko, she became Duchess of the Polans. Mieszko and Dobrawa changed the religion of current Poland to Christianity. Moreover, she was a mother of the future king, the first crowned ruler of Poland – Bolesław Chrobry.

Although some of the queens came from the Czech Přemyslid dynasty, others have foreign roots, mostly from the German circles or from dynasty Rurikid from Kiev. Agnes of Babenberg, wife of Włądysław II came from Austria. One of the most successful and honored polish queens of this period is Richeza of Lotharingia, wife of Mieszko II Lambert, was German. She was a member of Ezzonen dynasty, and after deposition of her husband in 1031 she came back to Germany and became a nun. Her three children well: Casimir I the Restorer, Ryksa, Queen of Hungar, Gertruda, Grand Princess of Kiev. Now she is known as a Blessed Richezaof Lotharingia. Her descendants belonged to the dynasties Piast, Rurikid and Arpad.

The protoplasts of the Jagiellon Dynasty were Władysław II Jagiełło and Sophia of Halshany. Both came to Kraków from East and didn’t have Polish roots. However, their marriage gave Poland two kings: Władysław III and Casimir IV. One of the most powerful queens of the Jagiellon Dynasty, mother of the king and queens of various kingdoms was Italian – Bona Sforza. This wonderful Italian woman brought the real taste of renaissance to the court in Kraków. She was a wife of Zygmunt Stary and mother of Zygmunt August. Her daughters became queens of the foreign countries. Although her son was the last Jagiellon ruler, her impact was impressive.

Moreover, a few Jagiellon queens came from Habsburg family. Habsburgs for centuries were one of the most influential royal families in Europe which don’t have Slavic roots. Wife of Casimir IV of Poland, Elizabeth of Austria, came to Poland form the court of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. Although she was orphaned at an early age, she was able to create one of the exemplary marriages in the history of Polish monarchy. Apart from having a good relationship with her husband, she gave birth to thirteen children. Eleven of them survived to adulthood, four sons became kings.

The other royal roots come from royal houses of the east and west including Hohenzollern Family. Mothers of the kings came to Gniezno or Kraków to give healthy sons to their kings.
It is clear that we cannot talk about anything like Slavic dynasties of Polish monarchy. In veins of Polish kings was blood from dynasties of entire Europe. It seems to be pointless to claim the specific roots of the monarchy. The royal families of Europe are connected with each other so much that in case of the most influential ones we can talk about one big royal family.

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