Ximene’s Genealogy shows how closely integrated Gaston Phoebus— and therefore Ximene— was to the royal houses of Europe.
And yet this was a relatively recent decision. It was the marriage of Gaston Phoebus’ grandfather to Jeanne d’Artois which signified a substantial realignment. It was a declaration that the Foix family, was now aligned with the Franks, at least for its possessions in Foix itself.
The decision had been taken after nearly 50 years of conflict in which the Franks had sponsored the stealing of Occitan lands.
Prior to the Albigensian crusade the Foix family had considered itself to be Occitan and clearly that included Catalonia.
Barcelona, Carcassonne, Narbonne , Moncarda, Cardona are all from the Occitan or Catalan speaking area. Gaston Phoebus would have been proud to number “El Cid”—Rodrego Diaz de Vivar— amongst his ancestors—a heritage shared by Ximene.
The shaded area shows the period affected by the Albigensian crusade and its aftermath
The decision to realign must have been difficult but Gaston Phoebus consoled himself that it was all for show. He swore allegiance for Foix to the Franks, for Bearn to the English and for Andorra to Aragon. By playing one against the other he maintained a surprising degree of freedom.