I have been reading a book on the Polish Kings. I have currently read up to Władysław II Jagiełło.The one king that stood out to me was King Jadwiga – (Yad-veega) . This king stood out to me because she was a female.
Jadwiga was born in the year 1374, she was the youngest of three. Her father was Louis I of Hungary, and her mother was Elizabeth of Bosnia. Her elder sister Mary, became Queen of Hungary after their father’s death. While Jadwiga became King of Poland at the age of ten. She had her coronation on the 16th October 1384, at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.
Jadwiga was taught to read and write, and she was able to speak at least six languages. (I think that is a great achievement, I have trouble learning two languages!) She was able to speak Bosnian, Latin, Polish, Serbian, Hungarian and German. (I’m learning Polish, I can say “Hello!” in German and a few other things, and I’ve always been interested in Latin. The reason I’ve been interested in Latin, is because I’m interested in the royal family from any country, but my heritage is a mixture of Polish, Irish and English, so I am mainly interested the British royal family. Anyway, every British royal family member I’ve read about has learned Latin, so that has sparked a desire in me to learn Latin.)
Jadwiga was crowned a King to show that she wasn’t a queen consort, and that she ruled by herself. In 1386 she married Władysław II Jagiełło, who was the Grand Duke of Lithuania. At the time of their marriage he was 26 years old, and she was 12 years old. This marriage led to the creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which happened a number of years afterwards in 1569. Though it was the marriage between Jadwiga and Władysław II Jagiełło which began this friendship between the two countries.
Kraków Academy went through a period of time with little funding, until King Jadwiga and King Władysław II restored it in 1399. Jadwiga gave her Crown Jewellery to the Kraków Academy to help it with its restoration process. Kraków Academy is now known as the Jagiellonian University. Jadwiga would attend cultural and charitable activities throughout Poland, and chose to donate her personal wealth to many different charities.
I personally think Jadwiga was a wonderful and thoughtful woman. The amount of devotion she had towards this country that wasn’t even her own, I believe is amazing. Jadwiga is now a saint, she was canonized on the 8th June 1997, in Kraków by Pope John Paul II.
Jadwiga gave birth to a baby girl at the age of 26, whose name was Elizabeth Bonifacia of Poland. A month later both the mother and daughter had passed away. They are both buried together.