Yolanda of Flanders

Yolanda of Flanders, Marchioness of Namur (French: Yolande de Hainault; 1175 – August 1219) was Empress of the Latin Empire in Constantinople in her own right from 1216 to 1219[1] and from 1217 as a sole ruler, after her spouse Peter II of Courtenay was captured and imprisoned before he could reach Constantinople. She was ruling Marchioness of Namur from 1212 until 1219.

Yolanda of Flanders
Died1219 (aged 4344)
Noble familyFlanders
Spouse(s)Peter, Latin Emperor
FatherBaldwin V, Count of Hainault
MotherMargaret I, Countess of Flanders


Yolanda was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainault, and Countess Margaret I of Flanders.[2] Two of her brothers, Baldwin I and then Henry, were emperors in Constantinople.[2]

In 1212, Yolanda became Marchioness of Namur after her brother, Marquis Philip I.

After the death of her brother emperor Henry in 1216 there was a brief period without an emperor, before Peter was elected to succeed her brother. On their way there, Peter sent Yolanda ahead to Constantinople, while he fought the Despotate of Epirus, during which he was captured. Because his fate was unknown (although he was probably killed), Yolanda governed Constantinople as a sole ruler for two years.

She allied with the Bulgarians against the various Byzantine successor states, and was able to make peace with Theodore I Lascaris of the Empire of Nicaea, who married her daughter. However, she soon died, in 1219.


Following Yolanda's death, her second son, Robert of Courtenay, became emperor because her oldest son, Philip, did not want the throne.[3] As Robert was still in France at the time, there was technically no emperor until he arrived in 1221.

Yolanda was, in her own right, Marchioness of Namur, which she inherited from her brother, Marquis Philip I, in 1212 and left to her eldest son, Marquis Philip II, when she went to Constantinople in 1216.


By Peter of Courtenay she had 10 children:



  1. Van Tricht 2011, p. 290.
  2. Rasmussen 1997, p. 9.
  3. Nicol 2002, p. 12.


  • Nicol, Donald M. (2002). The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rasmussen, Ann Marie (1997). Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature. Syracuse University Press.
  • Van Tricht, Filip (2011). The Latin Renovatio of Byzantium. BRILL. ISBN 9004203230.
Yolanda of Flanders
House of Hainaut
Cadet branch of the House of Flanders
Born: 1175 Died: 1219
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Philip I
Marchioness of Namur
Title next held by
Philip II
Preceded by
Peter II of Courtenay
Latin Empress of Constantinople
Title next held by
Royal titles
Preceded by
Maria of Bulgaria
Latin Empress consort
of Constantinople

Title next held by
Lady of Neuville

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