Plantagenets, English or French ?

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
This is an amusing question, since it's simple to change the answer changing the perspective [even without changing the historical context]: let's think to the Plantaganet [so called] ... "Geoffroy V d'Anjou dit le Bel ou Plantagenêt ", he became Duke of Normandy. Even if son of the Cont of Angiò, his main title was connected with Normandy. So we could sustain, that the Plantaganets were Norman ... [from Normandy]. And the Dukedom of Normandy depended on Regnum Francorum and then on England [from 1066CE on], like it was a third separate entity and actually it was ...
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,773
UK
The early kings were French in culture. Henry II and John had a more direct interest in England, and Ireland as they were amongst the first Lords of Ireland.
Richard Lionheart notedly didn't.
Henry III had an interest and had no choice since his father lost many of the lands his grandfather (Henry II) inherited.
Edward Longshanks had obvious interest in England, Wales and Scotland, and whilst he may have spoken French habitually and not English so much, by his time there was more of a direct English identity. He did still hold Gascony, but then I think there was an evident re-emergence of an Englishness by the 14th century.
This accelerated by the time of Edward III, with the Hundred Years War an apparent factor.
And by Henry V, and the Wars of the Roses, royalty and the nobility spoke English, and there was a distinct Englishness.

Having said this, the early Angevin kings did respect many English saints, such as Dunstan, King Edward thee Confessor, King Edmund the Martyr, and St. Alphege. St. Thomas Becket wasn't Norman, and he was good friends with Henry II until they fell out and he was murdered. So they did respect some aspects of English culture, and aspects that predated the Norman Conquest.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,926
The early kings were French in culture. Henry II and John had a more direct interest in England, and Ireland as they were amongst the first Lords of Ireland.
Richard Lionheart notedly didn't.
Henry III had an interest and had no choice since his father lost many of the lands his grandfather (Henry II) inherited.
Edward Longshanks had obvious interest in England, Wales and Scotland, and whilst he may have spoken French habitually and not English so much, by his time there was more of a direct English identity. He did still hold Gascony, but then I think there was an evident re-emergence of an Englishness by the 14th century.
This accelerated by the time of Edward III, with the Hundred Years War an apparent factor.
And by Henry V, and the Wars of the Roses, royalty and the nobility spoke English, and there was a distinct Englishness.

Having said this, the early Angevin kings did respect many English saints, such as Dunstan, King Edward thee Confessor, King Edmund the Martyr, and St. Alphege. St. Thomas Becket wasn't Norman, and he was good friends with Henry II until they fell out and he was murdered. So they did respect some aspects of English culture, and aspects that predated the Norman Conquest.
Thomas Becket's grandparents were Normans according to Wiki. Source Frank Barlow.