Consorts of English monarchs since 1066

Last week I set the first History Jar Challenge which was to name as many English royal consorts as you could since 1066. There are, I think, 38 of them. Not all royal spouses became kings or queens alongside the monarch in question. How did you do? There will be another challenge on Saturday!

The Normans

William the Conqueror = (1) Matilda of Flanders. Following the conquest she was crowned as William’s consort in 1068.

William Rufus = unmarried.

Henry I =

  1. (2) Edith of Scotland who became Matilda of Scotland upon her marriage to Henry. Henry I’s mother Matilda of Flanders was Edith’s godmother and it is said that at her christening she pulled at Matilda’s head dress signifying that one day she would rise to her godmother’s rank. She died on 1st May 1118 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
  2. (3) Adeliza (there are alternative spellings and pronunciations) of Louvain.

Stephen = (4) Matilda of Boulogne who was the niece of Edith/Matilda of Scotland.

The Empress Matilda was never crowned queen of England. And you will be delighted to hear that there aren’t any more Matildas!

The Plantagenets

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Henry II = (5) Eleanor of Aquitaine

Richard the Lionheart = (6) Berengaria of Navarre

John =

  1. Isabella of Gloucester but she was never queen of England due to an annulment on the grounds of consanguinity.
  2. (7) Isabella of Angoulême. She was crowned in Westminster in 1200 when she was 12.

Henry III = (8) Eleanor of Province

Eleanor of Castile

Edward I =

  1. (9) Eleanor of Castile (after who the Eleanor crosses are named.)
  2. (10) Margaret of France

Edward II = (11) Isabella of France – one of English history’s she-wolves.

Edward III = (12) Philippa of Hainhault. They married in 1328 in York Minster during a snow storm – which was unfortunate as the minster was without a roof at the time.

Richard II =

  1. (13) Anne of Bohemia. She died of plague in 1394 at Sheen Palace. Richard was so devastated that he ordered that the palace be demolished.
  2. (14) Isabella of France who was a child at the time of her marriage. Following Richard II’s usurpation by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke she returned to France.

Henry IV =

  1. Mary de Bohun who died before Henry became king.
  2. (15) Joan of Navarre became queen upon her marriage to Henry in 1402 but she wasn’t crowned until the following year.

Henry V = (16) Katherine of Valois who would marry Owain Tudor following Henry’s death.

Henry VI = (17) Margaret of Anjou (another she-wolf)

Edward IV = (18) Elizabeth Woodville (and this is not the time to discuss whether or not Edward was a bigamist)

Richard III = (19) Anne Neville

The Tudors

Elizabeth of York

Henry VII = (20) Elizabeth of York

Henry VIII = famously married six times. He believed that he had only ever been legitimately married to Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr – one because she produced a son and the other because he died before she could be toppled from the rather tenuous position as Henry’s spouse.

  1. (21) Catherine of Aragon
  2. (22) Anne Boleyn
  3. (23) Jane Seymour
  4. Anne of Cleves – not crowned because Henry took against her.
  5. (24) Katherine Howard
  6. (25) Katherine Parr

Edward VI = unmarried

Lady Jane Grey was never crowned although she was proclaimed queen.

Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain part of the Woburn Abbey Collection

Mary I = (26) Philip II of Spain. The Spanish Match as it was known was deeply unpopular. Although Philip became king he had very little power.

Elizabeth I = unmarried

The Stuarts

Anne of Denmark by Gheeraerts

James I = (27) Anne of Denmark

Charles I = (28) Henrietta Maria

Charles II = (29) Katherine of Braganza

James II =

  1. Anne Hyde who died before James became king.
  2. (30) Mary of Modena

William III and Mary II who were married to one another.

Anne = George of Denmark – was raised to the English peerage prior to Anne becoming queen but was never crowned as prince consort.

The Hanoverians

George I = Sophia Dorothea who never became queen of England because George divorced her for adultery before he became king of England. She spent the remainder of her life locked up in Ahlden Castle in Germany.

George II = (31) Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach

George III = (32) Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. There is a possibility that he married bigamously.

George IV =

  1. Maria Fitzherbert – who was Catholic and therefore the marriage was against the 1701 Act of Settlement and the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. This marriage was deemed to be invalid.
  2. Caroline of Brunswick. It wasn’t a happy marriage. She was forcibly barred from attending George’s coronation so was never crowned.

William IV = (33) Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

Victoria = (34) Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Edward VII =(35) Alexandra of Denmark

The Windsors

George V = (36) Mary of Teck

Edward VIII was proclaimed king but never crowned, preferring to abdicate in order to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson.

George VI = (37) Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Elizabeth II = (38) Philip of Greece

4 thoughts on “Consorts of English monarchs since 1066

  1. A bit unfair to describe Margaret of Anjou as a she-wolf. She was a tough woman in a man’s world defending the interests of her, probably, mentally impaired husband surrounded by a lot of he-wolves.

    • May be unfair but that’s how the Yorkist chronicles of the time described her. It was probably unfair to describe Isabella of France as a she-wolf as well.

      • There’s a rather wonderful secondary school English exercise looking at the way animal related nouns are pejorative when applied to women but tend to be more positive when the same animal is applied in the male form to men .

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