From: Houston, TX
ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
I remember reading that Edward I was the first Plantagenet who could speak English. Still a second language for him, though. When, or even if, any Plantagenet ever thought of himself as English I don't know. I'd also be curious as to when (or if) any such transition took place. Shakespeare treats the later ones as if they were English, though, and he wasn't too far removed from their times. So, I'm guessing that probably by the time of Henry IV, at least, they thought of themselves as English.
Certainly the earlier ones, such as Henry II & Richard I (Lion Hearted) regarded themselves as either Norman or French, with England a conquered province they were lording it over. That seems to make the Magna Carta sort of a French/Norman document, regulating French/Norman lords & kings, by the way.
Well certainly not French - the Normans (largely descended from Vikings - Norsemen) did not really consider themselves French at all. Welcome to the hotch potch of European history.
Even the Conquerer's children were a blend. But for sure, Henry II was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou, and Henry's wife was from Aquitaine. So Richard I was, at best, 1/4 Norman - the rest mostly French. John's wife was from Angouleme & his son's wife was from Provence. Then Edward I & Edward II had French wives. You have to go to Edward III to find a non-French wife. Then Henry V & Henry VI were back to French again. The Plantagenets were pretty much French.