30 Days of Women in History
Day 13. A female de-facto leader you admire (regents or otherwise). Blanche of Castile (1188-1252).
Eleanor of Aquitaine, the famous Queen of first France and then England, crossed the Pyrenees at the age of eighty to fetch the Spanish Princess Urraca, who was to be married to Dauphin Louis. Upon meeting her and her sisters, Eleanor decided that her younger sister Blanche would do better as a queen of France.
She made the right choice. Even before she became Queen, Blanche helped her husband gather troops and supplies. They had a happy marriage, but since Louis died young, she became regent for her young son, Louis X (Saint Louis).
While educating him and his siblings, she had to fend of attacks from rebelious nobles. Having experience with raising an army, she surprised them by organizing troops quickly and well. One by one she brought them under heel.
After Louis came of age, she became regent once more when he went on crusade.
Blanche became a model in France of a successful queen in the centuries to come.