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You see? Death comes to us all. But before it comes to you, know this: your blood dies with you. A child who is not of your line grows in my belly. Your son will not sit long on the throne. I swear it.
~ Isabella telling her father in law off.

Princess Isabella is a protagonist in the film Braveheart.

Isabella is portrayed by Sophie Marceau.

Biography

Isabella is the daughter of King Philip IV of France. In the 1290s her father and the English King Edward I - aka "Longshanks" - arranged for her to marry Edward's son Prince Edward. It was widely whispered that in order for Isabella to become pregnant Longshanks would have to impregnate her. It was also whispered that might have been why he approved of the marriage in the first place.

From the start the marriage was not a happy one. Edward had little interest in her at all, spending his time with his friends and implied male lover Phillip. Isabella confided in her lady in waiting Nicolette that she was unhappy because there was no love between her and Edward.

Soon news reached London of a rebellion started by William Wallace. Isabella found herself fascinated by the stories of the Scottish commoner who was standing up to English oppression and the true love between Wallace and his late lover Murron.

Isabella's husband soon sent an army north to deal with Wallace. The army was crushed at the hands of Wallace and Scottish forces. Wallace and his troops then sacked the city of York. Returning home Longshanks promptly murdered his son's friend Phillip and gave him a brutal beating. He then decided to buy Wallace off, and sent Isabella north to talk to him.

Meeting Wallace for the first time she spoke to him in private. She told him that she knew of his lover Murron. Wallace told her that Murron had been his wife, and that they married in secret because of Edward's program of prima nocta. He went on to tell her that they killed Murron to get to him, and that he had never spoken of their marriage to anyone else. Wallace told Isabella that she reminded him of Murron. Wallace told her that he was not willing to talk peace with Longshanks. Isabella returned home, giving the money she was to bribe Wallace with to the poor.

Returning home she learned that the olive branch was a ruse to give Edward time to assemble an army to attack Wallace. She had Nicolette return with a warning to Wallace of the King's true intentions. Wallace and his forces rushed off to fight the English at Falkirk, but they suffered a devastating defeat.

After Wallace recovered he renewed his efforts to make Scotland independent of England. Longshanks decided again to send Isabella up to talk peace, but actually planned to have her murdered and frame Wallace in order to secure the French King's cooperation in dealing with Wallace. What no one knew was that Nicolette overheard the whole thing and reported on this to Isabella. Isabella in turn warned Wallace of this new trap. At the meeting place Wallace and his men trapped the English assassins in a cabin which they set on fire, burning them to death.

Isabella slipped away and met Wallace at a cabin, where she admitted to Wallace that she is in love with him when he asked why she helped him. The pair proceeded to make love that night.

William Wallace was set up by some Scottish nobles not long afterwards and captured by the English. He was then sentenced to death. Isabella went to visit Wallace in the palace dungeons. When the jailers objected to her visiting Wallace she angrily told them that Longshanks would be dead within a month and that her husband was a weakling, and implied that she would be in charge then and would remember their actions then. She tried to get Wallace to take some drugs to numb his awareness during what would be an tortuous execution. Appearing to take the drugs he spat them out once she left.

Isabella pleaded with Longshanks for Wallace's life. Her husband informed her that before his father lost the ability to speak that his one comfort was that he would outlive Wallace. Isabella then whispered to her father in law that she was pregnant, but the father was not Prince Edward, and that his line would die out after Edward. She further swore that Edward would not have a long reign on the English throne. The King tried to speak but was still unable to do so.

Before he was beheaded Wallace shouted out "Freedom" in a voice loud enough to be heard throughout the castle. Longshanks and his son were horrified at the news, while Isabella wept, knowing that the one true love of her life was about to die.

Trivia

  • Isabella was played by the French actress Sophie Marceau.
  • In real life Isabella was only three years old when the Battle of Falkirk occurred. She was not married to Edward until after he had become King, and did not have a child until several years after Wallace's death. Additionally she supported her husband during those first years of his reign and did not move to depose him until 1326.

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