The Black Prince Personality

Other Characters

The Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitaine and heir to the English throne could be viewed as a hedonist. Certainly he loves pleasure.

He takes pleasure wherever he finds it, hunting, horse racing, tournaments, good food and drink and women. Despite a  large number of romantic entanglements, he is and always has been in love with his cousin, Joan of Kent.

The Prince has been raised as a future King. The emphasis in his education has been on duty and courage,  on honour and chivalry. At the age of 25 he is perceived to have excelled in all these areas.

He is impulsive, making decisions on the run, preferring to learn from his own mistakes rather than study any theory. He is clever, in fact intelligent enough to avoid any tasks which he finds distasteful or boring. This makes him a good military leader. He delegates tasks to others and does not over-supervise their activities. Those who work with him are given every opportunity to use their own skill and experience in the execution of their duties.

They know that there are two possible outcomes. If they achieve success in the tasks they are allocated, the Prince is quick to give praise and reward them with improved opportunities.

Alternatively if they fail to meet his expectations they know that they will be quickly replaced.

The way the Prince plucked John from obscurity  and then gave him opportunity after opportunity to better himself, is typical of the way the Prince operates.

The Prince however, though often apparently removed from the action, is quick to offer assistance to those faced with political or organisational difficulty.  Those who find themselves under physical threat  may find the Prince suddenly at their shoulder sword in hand. Inevitably this style of leadership is soon reflected by his subordinates and therefore through  every aspect of his organisation.

History has him as the epitome of chivalry and yet there was a ruthless side to his character.

 He is judgemental and unforgiving. He is capable of patience , awaiting the right opportunity,  but he will seek revenge for perceived wrongs or unchivalrous behavior and is capable of administering ruthless punishment.

For the Prince it would appear that  Chivalry was extended to those who behaved in a chivalrous manner. Those who contravened the laws of chivalry should and must be punished.

His style is not a good match for political governance with any semblance of democracy. When away from the battlefield, the Prince still  tends to want to tell people what to do not have them tell him what to do or even tell him their requirements. 

Nevertheless, under Joan’s influence  he begins to give greater priority to his personal relationships and to governance rather than to military adventures.  He commits himself to marry Joan  and to find a way of doing it without compromising honour or duty.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

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Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.