700th Anniversary of the Wedding of John of Luxembourg and Elisabeth of Premyslides
By Naďa Kubů
Introduction: The year 2010 is the 700th anniversary of the accession of the Luxembourg dynasty to the throne of Bohemia; their members, each in their different way, but definitively, inscribed themselves into the history of the Czech kingdom.
The ancient, though at first not so significant, family of Luxembourg traced its origin from Siegfried, who lived in the 10th century, and who in 963 secured from the monastery St. Maximin de Trêves (Trier), ownership of the castle of Luxembourg. Despite dynastic problems, when the Luxembourg heritage was passed down through the female line, they worked their way up in European politics, and in 1308, thanks also to the influence of the French court, Henry VII of Luxembourg (1274–1313) was elected as King of the Romans, and in 1312 crowned as Holy Roman Emperor.
After the death of the last member of the ruling family of Premyslides Wenceslas III († 1306) the Bohemian parliament met to decide on a new king. The session of the parliament respected dynastic relationships and inheritance law of the Premyslides in the female line. The daughters of Wenceslas II – Anna, Elisabeth and Margaret from Wenceslas’s first marriage with Judith (Guta) Habsburg, but also Anežka (Agnes of Bohemia), daughter of Elisabeth Richeza of Poland (Eliška Rejčka) – were principally entitled to lay claim to the succession. In this period the only unmarried one, except for the one-year old Anežka, was Elisabeth. However the Czech crown could also be passed to the widowed queens.
The Czech Estates negotiated in this spirit, and decided that the new Bohemian king would become Rudolf of Habsburg (1281 –1307) alongside the queen Elisabeth Richeza, his new wife and the widow of Wenceslas II. The reign of Rudolf of Habsburg, nicknamed “král kaše – king porridge”, lasted only a few months.