11 FAMOUS WOMEN WHO MARRIED BEFORE THE AGE OF 16
- THE VIRGIN MARRY
Women customarily married at a very young age in biblical times the mother of Jesus Christ would not have been an exception. Historians of the period feel she was about 14 when she was espoused to Joseph the Carpenter.
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE (1122-1204)
Perhaps the most powerful woman of the 12th century, Eleanor was 15 when her marriage to Louis VII made her queen of France in 1137. The union wasn’t happy, but it lasted 15 years. Two months after an annulment was granted, Eleanor married Henry Curtmantle, who was to become King Henry II of England.
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (1542-1587)
Although she was born in Scotland-and later ruled this country-Mary was raised in the French court. It was there, at age 15, that she married the sickly young heir to the French throne in 1558. Upon his death two years later, Mary returned to her native land and began the violent reign that ended with her beheading.
MARY II (1662-1694)
The consort of William III was a kind woman who was much loved by her British subjects. She was 15 at the time of her royal marriage to the stadtholder of Holland.
MARIE ANTOINETTE (1755-1793)
diplomacy-not love-was the impetus when 14-year-old Marie Antoinette married the heir to the French throne in 1770. Their union was intended to strengthen Austria’s alliance with. France. Instead, Marie’s Austrian birth was one of the factors that sparked the French Revolution.
VICTORIA CLAFLIN WOODHULL (1838-1927)
A feminist, a radical, and an advocate of free love in an era when none of those things were fashionable, Woodhull in 1872 became the first woman to run for president of the U.S. Her personal life was equally unconventional-at 15, she married a physician.
ANNIE OAKLEY (1860-1926)
The internationally famous sharpshooter was 15 when she married professional marksman frank E. Butler in 1876. Appropriately enough, they’d met when the then-unknown teenager beat Butler in a Cincinnati shooting match.
KASTURBA GANDHI (1869-1944)
She loyally supported her husband, Mahatma Gandhi, and sometimes shared his imprisonments. Their 62-year marriage began in 1882, when both partners were 13
JUNE HAVOC (1934- )
This stage and screen actress, the sister of Gypsy Rose Lee, did everything early. “Baby June” was dancing onstage at age two and a half, a vaudeville star at 8. and at 13 (according to her mother), she secretly married an 18-year-old member of an entertainment troupe.
JIHAN SADAT (1934- )
Egypt’s former first lady, certainly the best known feminist in the Islamic world, was 15 when she married Anwar Sadat in 1949. The man who eventually became president was a penniless 31-year-old military officer.
LORETTA LYNN (1935- )
The coal miner’s daughter who eventually became a country music superstar was married at age 13 to Oliver “Mooney” Lynn, who became the most important person in her life. By the time she was 18, Lynn had four children.