She was Yolande, daughter of the King of Aragon before the country joined with Castile to make today's Spain. The only child of her father to reach adulthood, Yolande became the kingdom's heiress after the death of her childless uncle.
Sleuthing led me to some astonishing and, in part, unknown characters and facts, and what began as one book grew into three. After six years spent researching, I was ready to begin writing what has become The Anjou Trilogy, not as a history, but as a true story.
The Queen is dead, long live the... president. And who should this bastion of democracy be? Richard Branson? Boris Johnson? Alan Sugar? Cheryl Cole-shortly to return as the nation's sweetheart?
Despite the long standing argument as to the validity and the justification of the Monarchy and its continued existence, there is no denying the fact that such practice of power cannot simply be abolished. For one, the Monarchy is part of a long historical tradition.
I think we were all amazed that The Queen was travelling on public transport the day after the horrific murder of the young soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich. It showed courage and a determination on the part of the Queen to carry on and not be intimated by the threats posed by those who think nothing of wantonly taking innocent lives.
Some thoughts over pizza at a restaurant in Rome after a 14 hour day on three hours sleep. I'm in Italy reporting on the Pope when another story breaks. Pictures of the royal baby bump appear in an Italian gossip magazine. Back to work for me, I'll never get to finish that pizza now.
In the most comprehensive investigation of attacks on the British Royal Family, 23 were found to have taken place between 1778 and 1994.
So where our Royal Family is concerned, let's make 2013 not a year of scandal, but a year of celebration. Let us give them privacy and eagerly await and then celebrate the arrival of a young Prince or Princess.
As I speak, the world's rainforests continue to be destroyed, wiping out so much of the world's vital biodiversity and removing our chances of storing carbon naturally; and we continue to ignore the painful lessons of the so-called 'Green Revolution' in India by intensifying our food production methods in such blinkered, chemically and technologically-based ways, that the land and the oceans are now both beginning to fail. Tragically, we cannot even plead ignorance of the consequences of our actions, for the scientific evidence is overwhelming and the impacts are well understood.
The chances of Prince William leapfrogging his father to the throne increased dramatically this week. As the Prince of Wales heads further and further into unconstitutional waters by demanding his letters to government ministers remain private, William started to look like a much more eligible candidate for kingship.
I could make a strong argument that, by inviting to his suite a large gaggle of girls, most, if not all, of whom were strangers, Harry compromised his own privacy. There has been undue focus on the photos. They are but the icing - rich and delicious, it has to be said - on the cake.
Harry's just a human being and as such I believe he should have no more or less rights than everyone else and human beings deserve the right to privacy and to reveal their naked bodies to people on terms they agree. The taking and sharing of naked pictures without permission is to me a form of abuse, and for me, Harry is a victim.
The media has gone wild sharing some delightful puns such as "he really has put the crown jewels on display" and he "bares all," and is demanding some reaction from The Palace. But The Palace walls have seen it all before. Prince Harry is not the first royal playboy and he certainly won't be the last.
In the run-up to the Jubilee juggernaut, the western media has become obsessed with the newfound brand success of the British Royal Family aka Brand GB.