While the 14th century wasn’t exactly a hotbed of feminist fervor in England, the place wasn’t without its powerful and intriguing women. Joan of Kent was one. Though her family was caught up in the armed conflicts that ended the reign of Edward II, once Edward III threw off the restraints imposed by his mother, Isabella of France, he welcomed Joan’s family – his relatives – back to his court.
This might have been the happy end of Joan’s role in history except for the little matter of her bigamy – and eventual marriage to Edward III’s eldest son, Edward, the Black Prince. While the Black Prince did not live long enough to succeed his father, his union with Joan made her the mother of the final Plantagenet King of England, Richard II.