The Kingdom of Navarre, originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, is a Basque-based kingdom that occupied lands on either side of the western Pyrenees, alongside the Atlantic Ocean between Spain and France. It borders to the west the Kingdom of Castile and east Crown of Aragón, and northwest France.
Sancho VII el Fuerte took part he took in the ill fated Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212). Having lost the Christian Kingdoms, Sancho VII returned to Navarre.
Sancho VII's relations with the countries north of the Pyrenees were notably better than his Castilian ones. Several Pyreneean counties declared themselves his vassals and he concluded treaties with John, King of England, and Pedro II de Aragón. With the former he signed at Tudela, in 1231, a treaty stating that whoever survived the other would inherit unopposed the other's kingdom.
Sancho went into retirement at Tudela at some point, when his youngest sister Blanca came from Champagne and took administration of the kingdom until she died in 1229. His eldest sister, Berengaria, Queen of England, died in 1232, thus leaving Sancho alone among the children of Sancho VI. When he died in his castle at Tudela Blanca's son Theobald IV of Champagne was recognized as the next monarch of Navarre on April 1234 by the Cortes of Navarre.
Under the House of Champagne
Thus the Kingdom of Navarre, though the crown was still claimed by the kings of Aragon, passed by marriage to the House of Champagne, firstly to the heirs of Blanca, who were simultaneously counts of Champagne and Brie, with the support of the Navarrese Cortes. Also Blanche of Castile, regent to the future French king Louis IX, had interest in cutting down Pedro II's territorial expansions and its Navarrese link.
Under the rule of the french House of Champagne Navarre was influence by the troubadour culture brought by Teobald I, himself a notable trouvère. Most of the government was entrusted to nobles of Champagne. A source of friction were the Fueros of Navarre, the laws of the Kingdom that limite royal power, and The House of Champagne that tried to justify its rule to divine right. This last concept was alien to the clergy, nobles and burgesses due to the Fueros and their representation in the Cortes that checked the power of the King.
Theobald I sealed alliances with Castile, Aragon, and England. However under Teobald II the alliances were switched to France, to whose king the rulers of Navarre paid homage as Counts of Champagne, besides upholding the Fueros of Navarre. On the death of Enrique I of Navarre in 1274 the neighboring kingdoms of Castile and Aragon moved to exploit the precarious situation of the regency of Blanca de Artois to secure Navarre for their respective houses either by marriage or by force. As regent she sought protection from her cousin, King Philip III of France. She paid homage to him for her son's French possessions and to secure the Crown of Navarre.
Titles King of Navarre and Count of Champagne (1234-...)
- Sancho VII el Fuerte (1154 – 1234) Reign 1194-1234.
- Teobaldo I of Navarre, and IV of Champagne (1201–1253) Reign 1234-1253
- Regency of Margaret of Bourbon, Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne( 1217–1256) 1253-1256
- Teobaldo II of Navarre, and V of Champagne (1239–1270) Reign 1256-1270
- Enrique I of Navarre, and III of Champagne (1244–...) Reign 1270-1274
- Regency of Blanca de Artois, Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne (1248-1302) Reign 1274-