The medieval era
Although Cecilia seems to have led a quiet life, marriage into a Welsh royal family could never be said to be predictable. Emma of Anjou, half-sister of King Henry II of England, wed Dafydd ab Owain (d 1203), one of Owain Gwynedd’s sons. Emma spent much of her married life as an exile in Shropshire after her husband was evicted by members of his own family. We can only wonder as to what she made of the whole situation as her thoughts go unrecorded.
Sometimes marriage into a Welsh royal family or even the promise of such a marriage appeared to bring nothing but bad luck. Isabella de Braose was married to Dafydd ap Llywelyn, the younger son of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth and his father’s chosen heir. Dafydd died suddenly of what appears to have been a stress-related illness. He and Isabella had no children and the lands of Gwynedd were eventually shared between the sons of Dafydd’s older brother Gruffudd, who had been disinherited. The bards claimed it was they who had brought this on Dafydd through their malice-filled poetry.
Eleanor de Montfort, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd’s wife lived a tumultuous life from the time her family first became involved with the Welsh. Both she and her brother were kidnapped by Edward I’s men from the ship bringing her to Wales to marry Llywelyn. She eventually married Llywelyn on a day of Edward’s (who was her cousin) choosing.
Elizabeth de Ferres, the wife of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd’s younger brother, spent the majority of her married life on a succession of building sites at Rhuthin and Caergwrle castles. Their only respite was time spent on their estate at Frodsham. Elizabeth had brought land in Norfolk with her as part of her marriage dowry, which was traded for land in Northamptonshire. What would Elizabeth have made of a quieter life in England rather than trailing around after her husband?