Smithsonian Associates Interview Series
What do Richard the Lionheart, Henry VII, Queen Victoria, and Her Majesty the Queen have in common? They, along with other monarchs, came to the throne after the deaths of their fathers—and with mothers very much alive and eager to be involved in the running of the country.
The title Queen Mother has been used since at least the late 16th century, but the role itself has been significant since the 12th, when Eleanor of Aquitaine participated actively in the reign of her son Richard I. In the centuries since, the mothers of English monarchs have shaped the personalities and reigns of their royal children, and influenced the nation they ruled.
Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger examines the fascinating relationships of kings and queens and their mothers from the 12th century to today, illustrating that although they didn’t hold official public positions, the women who rocked the royal cradle changed the course of English history.
Join us as we talk about royalty.
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