The Monarchs of Pride

By Holly Marsden Cover Image: Happy Pride month! To celebrate, we are going to explore a very different kind of royalty…drag queens and kings! It is firstly important to understand why the festivals, street parties and rainbow splattered vodka bottles exist. Pride celebrates queer culture, history and activism in commemorating the Stonewall Riots, whichContinue reading “The Monarchs of Pride”

The Mongolian Khatuns

By Katia Wright Many scholars of Mongolian history focus on the politics and warfare which resulted in an empire that stretched from Egypt to China. However, the absence of women in these discussions does not mean that Mongolia’s women, and indeed their khatuns (or queens), had little political, social, or economic power. Royal Mongolian womenContinue reading “The Mongolian Khatuns”

The Age of Queens in Medieval Lanka

By Bruno M. Shirley (Cornell University)Twitter: @brunomshirley Lanka’s long twelfth century has been called many things: the “Augustine Age” of Sinhala-language literature; an Age of Reform for Buddhist institutional and intellectual lineages; a Golden Age of growing internal stability and external influence across the Bay of Bengal, at least under the long reign (c. 1153-86)Continue reading “The Age of Queens in Medieval Lanka”

Tamar the Great: A Biography

By Irene Carstairs Cover Image: Restored fresco from Betania monastery. Tamar is pictured in green. Image: Today is the first of our special guest blog posts from the fantastic Irene Carstairs! You can follow her on Twitter @CarstairsIrene or see more of her work at From the late eleventh century to the earlyContinue reading “Tamar the Great: A Biography”

The extravagant death of Queen Mary II

By Holly Marsden At 12.45am on 28th December 1694, Queen Mary II of England died of smallpox at the age of 32. She had suffered for a reasonably short time, only recognising a rash on her arms and chest on December 21st. However, Mary had not been feeling herself for some time. Around May ofContinue reading “The extravagant death of Queen Mary II”

Remembering Mary: Examining the Creation of Mary I’s Legacy in the Historical Narrative

By Johanna Strong Cover Image: Hans Eworth, Mary I, 1556-1558, National Portrait Gallery The Queen is dead; long live the Queen! Though this phrase has been uttered only once in English history, its context is not as well-known as it should be. Many will be quick to identify that the second queen in question isContinue reading “Remembering Mary: Examining the Creation of Mary I’s Legacy in the Historical Narrative”

Framed in fantasy: Stuart allegorical imagery and Queen Mary II

By Holly Marsden Like many English monarchs, Queen Mary II carefully cultivated a public image through visual and material culture. Through tangible objects and artworks, regnant queens could secure the loyalty of their public whilst strengthening the image of their dynasty. Mary came from the Stuart family, and the visual culture surrounding her reign demonstratesContinue reading “Framed in fantasy: Stuart allegorical imagery and Queen Mary II”

Medieval English Queens as Landowners

By Katia Wright An important aspect of a queen’s power derived from her financial revenue. Throughout the medieval period English queens received income from numerous sources, however the largest of the queen’s revenues were drawn from her vast estates. These properties were granted to the queen by the crown to provide for her household andContinue reading “Medieval English Queens as Landowners”

Queenship and Historiography

By Louise Gay For centuries, sovereignty in the “Male Middle Ages” (as defined by Georges Duby) has been thought and written about from a male perspective. Perpetually presented as passive and submissive beings, queens were mainly considered as royal wombs rather than political actresses in the collective imagination. In consequence, the old historiography on queensContinue reading “Queenship and Historiography”

Going Global—New Directions for Queenship Studies

By Ellie Woodacre Queenship studies is a thriving academic discipline and wider interest in queenship is also reflected in a plethora of books on queens in the mainstream press as well as movies, tv series and novels about queens in popular culture. Biographical studies of the lives on individual queens or collective biographies of groupsContinue reading “Going Global—New Directions for Queenship Studies”