England's two forgotten queens.

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,735
Las Vegas, NV USA
Isabella and Margaret were queen consorts of England who exercised real power in the name of their husbands and/or sons. They've been ignored or labeled as "she wolves" by writers and historians. I've never heard of them until recently while researching for some posts. Why is that? Margaret in particular played a major role in the Wars of the Roses.

 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,412
Welsh Marches
It could hardly be said that they've been ignored, people don't know about them because they don't know much about medieval history in general; and there is the further fact that the endless conflicts of that period are so confusing that only enthusiasts form any clear idea of who was doing what when!
 
Jan 2009
1,285
Yeah, I thought this would be about Mary II (of William & Mary) and her sister, Anne! :)


Isabella (mother of Edward III) and Margaret of France (wife of Henry VI) are quite notorious by comparison, especially given that they were not reigning queens (at least not in name). But usually, it is Bloody Mary, Elisabeth I, Victoria, Elisabeth II. Notice who are missing? :)
 
Mar 2018
973
UK
It could hardly be said that they've been ignored, people don't know about them because they don't know much about medieval history in general; and there is the further fact that the endless conflicts of that period are so confusing that only enthusiasts form any clear idea of who was doing what when!
And medieval history is barely taught in English schools. We did William the conqueror, 1st crusade, and then jumped to Henry VIII & Elizabeth I (and then jumped again to WW1 before spending years on WW2). This was 15 years ago or so, but I think the emphasis to modern history has only grown since.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,735
Las Vegas, NV USA
It could hardly be said that they've been ignored, people don't know about them because they don't know much about medieval history in general; and there is the further fact that the endless conflicts of that period are so confusing that only enthusiasts form any clear idea of who was doing what when!
I've read biographical articles on Edward I, II and III and and though they mentioned Isabella, it didn't register. Isabella is a name very much associated with Spanish royalty in my mind. The reign of Edward III is recorded as beginning in his minority and Mortimer is named as the de facto ruler that was overthrown by young Edward in the Wikipedia article.

I was aware of Margaret as the wife of Henry VI and of the death of her son, but not of her active role in Lancastrian politics until was I researching for a post recently.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,735
Las Vegas, NV USA
Also Matilda.
Matilda was run out of London when she tried to claim the crown. She did control parts of the country, but was never recognized as queen regnant. Isabella and Margaret were queens consort but exercised authority in the names of male monarchs who were either incapacitated (Margaret) or too young (Isabella).
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,735
Las Vegas, NV USA
You forgot one--Lady Jane Grey, the 9 day queen.
A lot has been written about Lady Jane. She's a heroine to many Protestants to this day. She's definitely not forgotten. On the other hand, it's questionable whether Edward VI had the authority to override Mary's claim to the throne, even with the apparent approval of one of his regents. That approval was quickly withdrawn when Mary arrived in town.
 
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paranoid marvin

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
Matilda was run out of London when she tried to claim the crown. She did control parts of the country, but was never recognized as queen regnant. Isabella and Margaret were queens consort but exercised authority in the names of male monarchs who were either incapacitated (Margaret) or too young (Isabella).
True, but she was the daughter of a king and her son became king; as you say, she never got the official title, but for some time she ruled parts of England without the benefit of an incapable husband king, which effectively makes her a true queen in all but name.