152 thoughts on “Contact Us

  1. Dear Ali and Graham,

    I am just loving this podcast! I have been binging it and am up to Alexander III in the Scots Series. I have been sharing Rex Facts with anyone who will listen and encouraging them to subscribe. I am officially writing regarding Alexander II. I don’t mind him getting the Rex Factor because you do need to look at the BIG picture; however, I have a problem with the scandal scoring which ultimately leads to the final score.

    As a math teacher :)…and mother :)… negative behaviors should not be rewarded with positive points. Dashing a baby’s head against a wall can’t earn points in my universe!!! I started listening to Totalius Rankium Presidents of the US (total copycats in a very flattering way) and they DEDUCT the scandal points. I vote for that! Maybe you’ve changed your scoring and I haven’t gotten that far, but if not….

    I agree that the Rex Factor can be for Good or Evil, but it doesn’t seem right that the high scorers reap from their evil behaviors.

    My two cents (cause I’m from America).

    Thanks for all of your hard work,

    • Hi Lynne, thanks for the message, glad you’re enjoying the podcast. We have had a few people finding it difficult getting their head around the Scandal category and getting plus points for dastardly deeds! I guess the key thing for us is that we’re considering the ‘greatest’ monarchs but that doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘best’, so we have Scandal as a positive factor because notoriety is one of the things that can see a monarch really make an impact (both at the time and in history). Thus Henry VIII gets top points as his scandal is a huge part of why he is such a famous and domineering figure in British history. It usually gets balanced out in Subjectivity as a ‘bad’ king who is rewarded for Scandal will usually be punished as you would not want to be a subject. I guess for looking at presidents, you could argue that scandal is a negative because it usually results in undermining an administration or electability of a president, so is more of a liability?

  2. Good morning Ali and Graham,

    I have an idea for your next live tour theme (maybe with locations in the States, specifically DC???). Maybe you could compare Dynastys (not the program)? Which was the best??? Angeviens (yes)? Hanovers? Windsor? Tudor? Stuart (ugh, as if!)? Could be a fun twist on things. Imagine the best 2 monarchs (Herny II and Edward III) against, really any others. Well, back to work now, happy weekend!

  3. Hello Graham & Ali,
    I just felt the need to message you both to thank you for such a wonderful podcast. I’ve binged listened from series one and I’m now up to the Norman Queen Consorts Series 3.
    I listen whilst painting historical dolls (@PegsNeedles on Twitter), and I’ve become obsessed. I’m annoying everyone at home with Rex Facts and I’m delighted to find the merchandise page on your website!
    Thank you so much for making me laugh so much in such worrying and strange times we are now in. I’m off to buy a Dunstan mug.

    • Hi Joanna, thanks so much for the lovely message, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast! Our merch store is in desperate need of renewing, but glad that the Dunstan mug is there for you! And love the look of your historical peg dolls!

  4. Hi Graham and Ali.

    I just wanted to say thanks for the birthday shoutout to Matthew Jeffrey (my son) at the end of your most recent episode (which was a great episode, BTW). It was greatly appreciated both by Matthew and myself!

    The issue of mix-ups due to having two first names is one that I’ve had to deal with as well (both Scott and Jeffrey are sufficiently common as first and last names). Short of changing our last name to something different, our sons were always destined to suffer a similar fate.

    Anyway, thanks for all the time and effort that goes into this podcast. I have learned so much and been thoroughly entertained at the same time. Cheers!

  5. I am listening to the Henry VII episode and Perkin Warbeck. His aunt in Burgandy recognizes him and everyone took her word for it. But, no one asked his mother, Elizabeth Woodville?
    I just found your podcast recently after finding Pontifacts who was always praising you guys.

    • It will be interesting to look into this when we review Elizabeth Woodville in the consort series but I suspect the answer is no. Fundamentally, Henry VII didn’t want Parkin Warbeck to be who he said he was and while Elizabeth denying it was her son would be good, the rush of her expressing even a smidgeon of doubt just wouldn’t be worth taking.

  6. Hi Ali and Graham.

    I’m a former Privy Council member (haven’t yet made the move over to Patreon yet) and I have a question about gift memberships. My son is a huge fan of your podcast and I’d like to “sponsor” his membership in the Privy Council as a birthday present. Do you know if this is possible? Would I need to create a Patreon account for him (with his email) and then set up his membership there? Or is there a way of doing this through my Patreon account? I apologize if this is something that goes beyond your knowledge of how Patreon works, but any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
    Scott Jeffrey

  7. Hi Graham and Ali
    Thank you so much for filling my summer with Rex Factor. Was only recommended to listen by my archeology lecturer in May to help us sort out all those saxon kings but am now thoroughly hooked. Just gutted I missed all the voting especially when some of the scores in the final rounds were so closeHave just start series 2 and am enjoying finding out about things from the Scottish or should I say Scots perspective? Please don’t stop making further episodes as I am catching up!!
    Best wishes judith

    • Thanks Judith, really great to know you’ve been enjoying the podcast. Sounds like you’ll be catching us up in the third series so hopefully you’ll be able to vote in those play-offs!

  8. Hi-
    I hope you see this. My husband is a gigantic fan of the show (we both are!) and has dearly missed the ‘public’ episodes in recent months, as (I guess) most posting has migrated to paywall sites. With that in mind, I’d like to buy him a membership on the Privy Council for his birthday, so he can begin listening to you two again. How do I do that? I should add that while I’m not on facebook, I do have a twitter account.

    • Well, we will be back with normal episodes again very soon! We lost a lot of time due to COVID stuff and then had some Privy Council content we needed to get through but normal service will return soon, so there’s no move to the paywall, as such. However, I don’t want to put you off buying him membership as we’ll have plenty more to offer there too! We’ve just moved to Patreon, so if you sign up on patreon.com/rexfactor then that will grant access to all our bonus content. Guess it depends on timing whether you want it to be a surprise or if he gets it straight away – I imagine he’ll want it with his details eventually but initially you might need to sign up with your details or else he’ll get an email notification? Let us know if you want a shout-out for him near his birthday as we will have episodes coming out this month!

  9. Hi you two!
    I’ve just been listening to the whole series again backwards. Just because the podbean app refused to change it’s direction and I found it quite fun going back in time. One interesting result: after a couple of times when Ali thought Aethelswyth’s first husband had been a bishop and neither of you knowing what had put that into his head, I’ve now listened to her episode, where you Graham say that the guy who went to look at her for the king and then married her himself was called “Aethelwold, not to be confused with the bishop of the same name”. I suppose that was asking for trouble really.
    Thanks again for many hours of fun.

    • Hi Maria, that’s an interesting enforced experiment! Thanks for working that one out – love that it came from me essentially saying “if you take one thing from this, it’s that she didn’t marry a bishop”!

  10. Hello Graham and Ali,
    I’m enjoying the daylights out of your podcast. Great job, fellas! I wish that Ealhswith (wife of Alfred the Great) had been given the Rex Factor nod. 5 freezing, hungry endangered children. The simple fact that she managed to keep 5 young children alive under the most horrendous circumstances was nothing short of miraculous, Maybe she should have been canonized as well.

  11. Hello guys, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your podcasts- I wish my university lectures followed the same style! Scandal is my particular favourite category- I find myself thinking of celebrity drama as being “hmm, not quite sex with nuns level!”
    Graham, I am in awe of how well-researched each monarch is (how you find out all the information is beyond me) and Ali, your catchphrases are classic. I fully agree with your love of Charles II, and have also uncovered a new-found appreciation of William Rufus. I hope you keep going for years to come!

  12. Carrying of with Robin Hood films I’d like to recommend the “ The Adventures of Robin Hood” staring Errol Flynn a 1938 film. A great film that included a fantastic portrayal of King John. In 2001 the film came in at #84 on “The Best Films of All Time” as voted on Channel 4.

      • The best ever RH movie was “Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves’. Kevin Costner was terrible but Alan Rickman was the most sublime Sheriff of Nottingham ever! Surely Ali could cope with that?

  13. Hi Both, Many thanks for hours of entertaining, interesting history. Much appreciated. I’ve just reached the end of the Scottish monarchs and might now have to take a short break in a dark room to recover. For what it’s worth here are the verdicts that stuck in my mind: Edgar the Peaceable (probably deserved it if Charles II got it, but can understand why you didn’t give it to him that early on in the series); Harold II (I *so* wanted him to get it); Oliver Cromwell (deserved it on merit, I think that one was a bit of a cop-out); Mary Queen of Scots (What!? You jest, surely!? But given that she ended up in the Scottish final I clearly *so* don’t have my finger on the pulse of the modern zeitgeist 🙂 ). Anyway, thanks again for all the work! Nick

    • Thanks Nick, really glad you have been enjoying the podcast. Ali will never escape Edgar, I fear! Totally know what you mean about Harold II, though the irony is that if he had won the battle, it wouldn’t seem so significant so maybe he wouldn’t have been so celebrated as for nearly winning. Cromwell a bit of a cop-out, though I suppose we could have just not done him at all if we were being real sticklers but we thought it was important to include him. Mary is very divisive: some people can’t stand her whereas for others she’s one of the most beguiling characters that we’ve done (particularly in comparison to the other Scottish monarchs).

  14. Hello Graham and Ali. Please please please can I have a shout out on your Eleanor of Aquitaine episode. I became a patron just after your Maltilda of Boulonge episode and realised that as a new patron my shout out would be during the next episode which was meant to be Eleanor. Obviously I was very happy about this 🙂. I started listening to your podcast at the beginning of lockdown (March) and finished all of your episodes by the end of lockdown (1st wave). I discovered your podcast after watching The Favourite as I became intrigued by her story and the history of the Stuart’s. Being a fan of Medieval and Tudor history your episode of Anne led to a new found interest in the Stuart’s and subsequently the Georgian’s. Thank you Rex Factor for expanding my historical horizons. P.S I can’t wait for Eleanor. I’m sure after her episodes are through opinions of our Rex Factor winner Henry ii will change 🤔. P.P.S You have previously mentioned what kings/queens you would like to see at a dinner party together. How about Henry viii and Elizabeth i?? 😬😬

  15. Sorry this may be long, but 10 years after the fact, I started at Alfred the Great and have just concluded all of the English playoffs. It’s clear to me though that in terms of direct accomplishments Alfred, Aethelstan, Cnut, William I, Henry II, Edward III, and Henry V stand above all others. While I see years after the fact many still disagree with you on Edgar the Peaceable I’d say you got it right, he was simply born into a rich kingdom but didn’t reach out and get it or keep it for that matter. As an American we are taught that George III is an evil Targaryen type tyrant but you guys put him into a different perspective for me. However,I feel like Cnut’s accomplishments were somewhat downplayed as he did what William I did and then some, all under the age of 21, he definitely should’ve gone deeper in the playoffs but I understand that not as much is known about him but some historians have said he was the most effective Anglo-Saxon king. I also wouldn’t have given the RF to Richard I (as he was very arrogant and was disgusted by England the whole 6 months he was ever there) or Victoria (as she was absent a majority of her reign despite all that took place during it). Hopefully you can keep making these maybe on PMs, Welsh Kings, or even French Kings since both played a big part in these times as well. Best wishes and keep it up

    • I agree about Cnut – I think a lot of that is because his dynasty disappears very soon after his death and then gets completely overshadowed by 1066, but his was the far more amenable conquest! I find myself sticking up for Richard quite a bit now, though – not a good man by modern standards, obviously, but despite his absence he would have seemed the epitome of what a king should be at the time with his military might and the crusades.

  16. Hi! So I was just told by the guys I am reading Shakespeare plays with on Zoom Shakespeare: “OMG, with all that you to to plug RexFactor to us, they really should pay you!” We’re starting to read the history plays, beginning with Marlowe’s Ed II. In response to the director saying “Edward I might have made a bit of a wrong turn getting Gaveston and Ed II together at such a young age,” I did make sure to say “I sure hope Ali didn’t hear that…”

  17. Hello!
    I was one of the unfortunate people who didn’t get to stay at home during lockdown and must say listening Rex factor on my commute made going to work while everyone in my house was asleep just that little bit easier!
    One question, why does the Stuart royal house continue through Mary but Hanover doesn’t through Victoria?

    • Hi Neneh, hope things weren’t too too tough when you were having to go in and everyone else was staying home, but nice to know we were keeping you company on the commute!

      Good question on the dynastic name. The reason is that Mary’s husband was also a Stuart (Lord Darnley), so part of the same dynasty. Although Victoria and Albert were also cousins, Albert was of a different house and thus their children are considered part of his house rather than Victoria’s.

  18. Hello, I only discovered Rex Factor on a road trip across Virginia with a enthusiastic colleague last year. I was hooked but only this year started downloading and listeninig. Just finished the Norman kings. In these horrendous times and in some personal dark times the pod cast has been one thing I have looked forward to. I am hooked. It looks like in later series you expand the realms I will have to see if that includes KIng Lear who I think was an actual person. Cheers, David

    • Hi David, thanks a lot for the email. Really glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the podcast and that we’ve been of some solace in difficult times (and sorry to hear that things have not been good for you recently).

      I believe that Lear is a king of legend (Leir), so may not actually have existed but is a pseudo-historical figure rather than an invention of Shakespeare!

  19. Hello,
    I am afraid that I missed your pub quiz since my cronky old computer wouldn’t download the podbean app fast enough for me to join in on the night. Will you be putting it online at some point (or have you already done so and I’ve missed it)?
    Greatly enjoying the consorts. I am particularly looking forward to poor old Caroline of Brunswick, George IV’s missus. Ali will wear his scandal finger down to a stump on that one.
    Thanks for many years of royal lunacy.

    • Hi Lucy, the podbean app is a mobile only affair so would have been a hard push even for a new and swanky computer! I’m going to release the recording as a Privy Chamber episode and then will re-do the quiz for everyone to do it they fancy it.

      • For other people without smart phones, it is doable on the computer but you have to go via a third party e.g. blue stacks.

      • I don’t know. I am not greatly computer savvy – as is shown by the fact that I still have a phone&text mobile and nothing fancier. It appears to work, that is all I can say.

  20. Hi Graham & Ali (sorry if I spelt that wrong!). After listening to your wonderful podcast for almost 12 months, I’ve finally become a Privy Councillor. Your podcast helped me through an awful marriage breakup, a move to the other side of the country and then months rebuilding my life. I felt $10 a month was least I could do to thank you for all that you have given me and I look forward to many more Rex Factor episodes!

    Thanking you both,
    Canberra, Australia

    • Hi Terina, sorry to hear that you’ve been through some tough times but good to hear that things are on the up and wonderful to know that we were of some help during that time. Thank you so much for becoming a Privy Councillor!

  21. Hi guys, I’ve been listening to your first series which I’ve really enjoyed. What an achievement! I’m so impressed with the research you’ve undertaken and the way you’ve made it accessible and fun as well as informative. I hope you are both doing well in these coronavirus days. In case you are still open to suggestions for future series, I’d like to throw my support behind Roman emperors. Hearing you guys assess them on battliness and scandal would be amaaaaaazing!

    • Hi Simon, thanks for the message, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast! Roman Emperors is definitely one to do at some point in the future – bit intimidated by the sheer number of them, to be honest, so probably won’t be the next series, but definitely want to do them one day! In the meantime, you might want to check out the podcast Totalus Rankium which uses our structure and format to review the Roman Emperors!

      • Thanks for the suggestion. I’m torn. I’d like to wait and hear you guys do them, but I’m curious to check out Totalus Rankium too. Arrrgh!

  22. Hello Lads –

    Proud Privy council member here – enjoying the current Consorts series and listening to the Scottish series again during lockdown in NJ.

    I made a suggestion on FB which may have gotten lost among the comments but I was wondering if there was a way to mark the relationship (if any) between the reviewed consort and Queen Elizabeth II as you did during the first series.

    Thank you so much for your podcasts – always a delight, having them drop in my phone now during these crazy times really means a lot.

    Stay safe and healthy. And always #rememberaed. (Which happen to be my initials so especially worth remembering!)


    • Hi Ann,

      Thanks for the message! I think Ali did send that to me (copied and pasted) and I replied to him, but I’m not sure how reliable Ali’s admin skills are in terms of remembering to reply to messages after reading them on Facebook! But yet, a few people have asked about this for the consorts as well as the Scots before them. The reason I’ve not done it is basically that I don’t have a readily available website telling me like I did for all the monarchs! Would take a while to try to work it out manually, having to follow all the various family trees of all children to see a) if they get to HMTQ and b) who gets there first! So would be good to do it but I’ve not found a resource doing the work for me!


  23. Finally reached the present with Adeliza of Louvain! I first started listening in 2017(I think) and couldn’t believe my ears when I heard your descriptions of the saxon kings; I’ve had a pack of Heritage playing cards for as long as I can remember! I’ve really enjoyed how you bring these (sometimes obscure) characters to life. The William IV episode was a particular favourite 🙂 So far my only disagreements have been Edgar the Peaceable (obviously), Harold II, Richards I & III, and the two Matildas. Matilda of Flanders was robbed 😉

    • Thank you! Really glad you enjoy the podcast and that we’ve been able to bring the playing cards to life? So are you saying that you’d have said no to Richard the Lionheart and yes to Richard III? And likewise Matilda of Flanders and Scotland the opposite way round?

      • Exactly! Richard the Lionheart seemed overrated whereas Richard III was a really interesting character (although I admit I am hugely influenced by Iggulden’s War of the Roses series). And Matilda of Flanders was awesome – riding in on a warship, standing up to big bad William, defining English queenship… I couldn’t tell you why I didn’t like Matilda of Scotland because I’ve already forgotten pretty much everything about her 😉

      • Richard III definitely very interesting, but don’t think there’s enough there for the Rex Factor – ironically, the added ‘certain something’ is arguably the Shakespeare/Tudor propaganda (and the reaction it inspires). Would still be a fascinating figure in history, but perhaps less ‘starry’ without that added level. Quite a few people don’t like Richard the Lionheart, and certainly on a moral level he’s not exactly a paragon of 21st century values, but as a medieval, warrior king goes he ticks a lot of boxes!

        It’s interesting to see the reaction to Matilda of Flanders – I’d say more people than not have felt she deserved the Rex Factor, but it’s not been a one-way torrent like Edgar! For me, I think it’s that she seems more like an amazing Duchess of Normandy who became a (largely absent) Queen of England for a bit, whereas Matilda of Scotland was properly Queen of England and more the definition of medieval queenship – the regencies, the Saxon lineage, the bridges!

      • Hmm that’s true… and I am definitely glad Macbeth didn’t get it. As interesting as he was, getting the rex factor in 2 years is a big ask. Then again… other than reputation I’m not convinced Richard I has all that much. The third crusade was at best a draw and his efforts in France is only regaining what he lost. Ultimately he didn’t have the impact of other battley kings like Aethlestan or Henry 5.0… AND he was a rubbish king.

        Do you have to credit Matilda of Flanders less for the stuff she did before becoming queen? Did William I get credit for being badass in Normandy before invading England? I’m gonna have to re-listen to Matilda of Scotland – I do like a good bridge 😛

  24. Just finished listening to George III episode and finding myself saying ‘what what’ alot!! Great podcast, makes me laugh out loud on my commute every morning.
    Was thinking what 21st tv shows would suit what king, how about Charles II & George IV on Love Island, Henry VIII on Come Dine With Me, Wlliam IV on Blind Date (or Naked Attraction 🙈) & all the Georges with their family quarrels on Jeremy Kyle! 😆

  25. Just listened to the William The Marshal Marshal. Did Ali call him a potato on purpose or was it an accident? Either way I can now never unsee an enormous man on a horse charging toward his enemies and emblazoned on his shield is a potato. Now every time I hear his name I couldn’t help but mutter ‘la grande pomme de terre’

    • Ha! I can’t recall the potato comment – was it the French quote at the end? I’m not sure where that will have come from, certainly not history, but it is a fun image!

      • At one point Graham was explaining that knights aspired to be la prudance( the ideal knight) and Ali began calling him pomme de terre (potato)

  26. I’ve only just started the podcast, but I’ve fallen in love! Absolutely loving this! Only on Stephen, so a bit to go, but I’ll get there eventually!

  27. I thoroughly enjoyed the Elswith episode which was fascinating and very well done considering the dearth of direct evidence! I am torn on your decision to not grant her the Rex Factor because as a purist I realize you don’t have direct evidence. However, per the excellent context Graham provides about the history behind the continuation of bad decisions for Wessex based on one or two experiences I wonder if you inadvertently perpetuating their bad practice and Rex Factor highlights those who otherwise would remain obscure.

    Hard decision and even more complicated bc the attitudes about women and women with power is pretty poor throughout history!

    Looking forward to listening to hear how this series progresses! Brisdell of San Francisco

    • Thanks Brisdell, we’re trying to shed as much light on each consort as possible but, as you say, sadly in many cases with the Saxons there just isn’t enough information there for us to go the full hog and give the Rex Factor. But they are getting as much of the spotlight as we can find and hopefully episodes where lesser known consorts DO get the Rex Factor will show that it is possible!

  28. Hi, new friends. Forgive me for only just discovering you. I already have a strong affection, and write only to share some extra fun I’ve accidentally discovered. I play the podcast at a slower speed so I can catch more information. A very fun side effect is that, at 80% speed, Ali sounds pleasantly, slightly drunk. It makes this even more delightful, and I recommend trying it out.

      • Well, I’d like to add that it was after I wrote that comment that I reached the episodes when Ali had suffered his accident. I assure you that this sound of drunkenness had nothing to do with your horrible experience. It’s purely timing and personality. At full speed, you sound fully functional. At 90% speed, each of you sounds normal but at a slower pace. At 80%, Graham sounds normal but at a slower pace, and Ali sounds like he belongs among my best friends on a good night.
        My regular listening is at 90%.

      • Ha, no worries, it’s now been so long from our perspective that we’d never have assumed your comment was connected to that!

  29. I love your podcast and am currently at the modern English monarchs. Thanks for all your hard work! I have to admit I have trouble seeing the rex factor in any of the post-Glorious Revolution monarchs. It seems like whenever they try to get involved they just end up getting in the way. I really enjoyed learning about the revolving door of prime ministers of Victoria’s reign, but they were by far more interesting and influential than Victoria herself. Have you ever wondered if the Rex Factor winners would have done equally well had they been born in a different era? I imagine a modern-day Richard the Lionheart as an incredibly arrogant and generally irritating party boy. Charles II of course would’ve flourished in any time period…well he might not have fared so well against the Vikings. I can also see a modern Alfred being quite content to sit back and focus on his learning and religion, although I doubt he’d be very popular with the public.


    • Good question – not one that I think can be answered, unfortunately! The family trees we have available for the Scottish royals tend to have been done retrospectively to illustrate the line of the current monarch/dynasty rather than an academic exploration of all the royals of days gone by, so I’m not sure that extended lines outside of the direct royal line will have been followed. It also tends to be just “King A, son of King B, son of King C…” so we don’t even get the names of the queens or their siblings. Even for some of the monarchs, there’s an extent to which their origins (e.g. Macbeth) are very much up for debate and there’s a lot of well educated guesswork from historians!

  30. Graham and Ali – love the podcast, been binge listening for the past couple of months and am happy to have joined the privy council. I just finished listening to th PC episode of Mary Queen of Scots and you mentioned some of Ali’s book reviews. I suggest he listen to the Abbott’s Tale by Conn Iggulden – it’s about Ali’s “favorite” player during the period of Saxon kings – Dunstan! I listened to the book and enjoyed it, and wondering if Ali might change his perspective on Dunstan if he listens to the book. Would love to hear his review of the book.

    Keep up the awesome work. Always look forward to listening you guys. Thanks for making my commute enjoyable and educational.

    • Hi Jessica, thanks for the message and for joining the Privy Council! Thanks for the book review suggestion – that’s actually the American (or non-UK) title of the book known in the UK simply as “Dunstan” and in one of the Privy Chamber episodes Ali does review it! Will leave it for you to find out whether a) he enjoyed it and b) it changed his opinion on Dunstan…

  31. I only discovered Rex Factor last year and I’ve been bingeing on it. I love it! I’ve learned heaps and had great fun in the process. I’d love to hear you do an episode on Eleanor of Aquitaine. In my view she is almost deserving of the Rex Factor as Henry II was even though she was only queen consort. She gets quite a few scandal points in her own right and I’d love to hear your take on her.

    • Hi Cath, thanks for the message, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast! You’ll be pleased to know that our third series is going to be on the queen and prince consorts of England, so Eleanor of Aquitaine will indeed be getting her own episode. Think she’ll score well in most categories!

  32. Hi

    In the Richard III or the Edward V episode you stated that the French court referenced situation in England and what Richard had possible done as a reason against the sister of the new French monarch should not be regent. Any chance you can send me the reference for this, sorry I know it was a while ago but I can’t seem to track it down anywhere.


    • Dug out my notes and found the reference! It was from Alison Weir’s Richard III and the Princes in the Tower – the French chancellor (a buddy of Mancini) was addressing the Estates General and had the following to say: “Look, I pray you, at the events that have taken place in that country since the death of King Edward. Think of his children, already big and strong, murdered with impunity and the crown transferred to their murderer by the will of the people.” I can’t remember what we said in the podcast but there was opposition to the sister as regent and I think perhaps this reference was intended to bring the wayward nobles back on side (rather than an argument against her regency).

  33. Hi you two,
    I just recently re-listened to the Bess of Hardwick special episode and thought (again) how incredibly apt Ali’s comment was after ringing the scandal bell for Robert Barlow: “mind you, are we Catholic at this point?” Surely that must have been the question pretty much most of the population will have been asking at that time!

  34. Just wanted to say that I love this podcast so much and it’s been seriously saving my life in a new job with a lot of driving travel–I save up my episodes to be sure of entertainment on my trek to the next tiny town! Rex Factor is now my go-to podcast recommendation to anyone who’s looking for something new, I’ve got two converts already. Thanks so much for all the work and joy you put into RF, it’s fabulous!

    • Hi Chloe, thank you! Really glad that you’re enjoying the podcast and that we’ve been keeping you company on some long drives. And great work recruiting new listeners – Rex Factor points duly awarded!

  35. Hey all. American listener here, and I am loving this podcast. In a little bit over a week since having it recommended to me, I’m already up to the Tudors. I’m learning so many great facts about the English monarchy, English history as a whole, and various idioms and such that I had no idea where they came from. For instance, I mostly knew about the Hundred Years’ War from the French perspective, and being ethnically Irish and Scottish, didn’t have much respect for Edward I until that episode. Even one of my European history teachers glossed over the Wars of the Roses as “a bunch of cousins with the same names killing each other and we ended up with Henry VIII,” so these last few episodes have been fascinating. Y’all keep talking about how epic these various reigns would be in a movie, and I’m thinking that the Wars of the Roses would be so epic as a TV show a la The Tudors or The Borgias (and if this already exists in Britain please tell me so I can find it online) cause there’s so much backstory you’d have to cram in to get to why it was important that Richard III and Henry VII were fighting each other for it to make sense as a movie, at least for international audiences.

    Another thing, from an earlier episode that makes me really want to write an email to this same history teacher about him being wrong—I had two classes from him, world history and European history, and both times when we got to Elizabeth I being crowned, he said it the same way, “Now, we are in a position of having a reigning queen, that hadn’t happened in England since the Anglo-Saxon days of Matilda.” That same quote, both times. It always stuck in my head, cause I was thinking, “I’ve never heard of a Queen Matilda, and as a woman and a history dork I’m super interested in regnant queens.” So as I’m listening to the episodes and we’re getting closer to 1066 and the end of the Saxon dynasty, I’m like, “Okay, where’s Matilda? Where’s the Matilda episode??!” Then as I kept listening, I discovered that not only was she never properly queen, she was also a Norman, not a Saxon. The public school system failed me!

    Anyway, sorry for the ridiculously long comment, I just wanted to let y’all know how much I’ve been enjoying your show, both the learning and the funny. I know I have about a billion more episodes until I catch up, but I can’t wait to see what you do next! Keep it up!

    • Hi Caroline, thanks a lot for the email, great to hear you’re enjoying the podcast so much! Love that description of the Wars of the Roses – good to get into the nitty gritty of each reign and all that battles, but your European History teacher found a very effective way to summarise it in one line! There’s not been an all-encompassing series on the Wars of the Roses in a Game of Thrones sort of scale (other than how it influences GoT!) but there was a series base on a Philippa Gregory book The White Queen which focused on Elizabeth Woodville and tells a lot of that story.

      However, as you say, that same teacher was wrong on so many levels when it came to Matilda! I suppose if you want to be generous you could say that Matilda did have a Saxon parent (her mother) and did claim the throne (but was never crowned). We will be doing a special episode on her at some point in the future, though, so will look at her in some more detail.

      • Excellent! Thank you! Now that you mention that book, I remember seeing it at the library a while back, but at the time I thought, “I know nothing about this time period. Let me do some research and I’ll come back to it,” but then life happened and I never came back. Now that I know more thanks to you guys I’ll have to read it.

        Up to Victoria now, and I have to say your treatment of Cromwell and George III was very enlightening. Again, as an American and ethnically Irish (although I found out about ten years ago from a native Irishman that my clan has a reputation as a bunch of horse thieves, apparently) I had an extremely skewed view of both of them, and in fact they were about on the same level of evilness for me. So bravo, thanks again!

  36. Hi Both,

    Just wanted to leave a little note to let you know how much I enjoyed this podcast. I stumbled upon it when I wanted to learn more about just how bad Henry VI was and was directed here to find out more. I have been obsessively listening ever since having got from Backgroundy Stuff to Elizabeth I in 5 weeks! The Anglo-Saxon stuff was particularly interesting and has led me to want to learn more about them, especially Athelstan!

    I can’t wait to listen more and as I travel a lot, this is the perfect in-car companion!



  37. Just listening to Mary Queen of Scots and Ali asked if there was ever a situation where a king died while the queen was pregnant and they had to wait until the baby was born. Apologies if someone has already mentioned this in the intervening episode, but Alfonso XII of Spain died while his wife was pregnant. Their eldest daughter, Mercedes, was heir for her entire life, but the nation had to wait to see if the new baby was a boy (who would leapfrog his sisters and become king) or a girl (who would take her place at the end of the line). Six months later, the child was born and immediately crowned Alfonso XIII. Upon being informed of this situation, my daughter declared “Spain: what a wazzock.”

    It also happened in France – John I (John the Posthumous) was the posthumous son of Louis the Quarreler, who died after a tennis match. Unfortunately, John only lived for five days and his status as king is disputed. Later on, Charles the Fair fatally banged his head on a door while his wife was pregnant with a potential heir. In this case, the baby was a girl, and females were not permitted to inherit the throne, so the throne passed to a distant cousin. This was the succession that sparked the Hundred Years’ War, as Edward III also had a claim through his mother, Isabella. And you know what happened there.

    And in Hungary – Ladislaus the Posthumous was born around four months after the death of his father, Albert the Magnanimous.

    • Hi Nick, we have had a few responses on this for the James VI episode (recorded but not yet released at this point!) but they hadn’t picked up on Alfonso XIII or Ladislaus the Posthumous, nor indeed provided the excellent insight of your daughter on the situation!

  38. Yes, yes, yes to the “video podcast” idea. Perhaps the finals could be done this way. As for time, whatever works for you — there’s no way you will be able to accommodate all of your fans, so as long as you record it and it’s available afterwards, it would work for me. As for the camera, I’d LOVE to have you tour a castle and tape it all for us.

  39. Hi! Just wanted to say that I started listening to you guys earlier this year and have been swiftly making my way through the English side of the monarchs so far. Thoroughly enjoying it and learning the pros and cons of each monarch, and their overall contributions (or lack thereof). Keep up the good work, looking forward to listening to you more in future! From a listener in Melbourne, Australia (and currently listening to the Victoria episodes… in the city of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria….!).

  40. Hi guys,

    Recently discovered the podcast via your radio interview. I’m currently listening to English and Scottish concurrently, so I’ve just heard back-to-back Edward III and Robert the Bruce and I feel this must be a high point in British history.

    Just wanted to praise you for your use of the Heritage playing cards. My four year old daughter Lilly has these (both decks, English and Scottish) and absolutely loves them. She plays with them as if they were dolls, and is particularly fond of the monarchs who ascended to the throne as children.

    She has given some of the kings and queens nicknames. Some are snappier than others.

    Edward V: Poor Little Edward
    Edward VI: also Poor Little Edward
    Margaret the Maid of Norway: Maidy Lady
    Edward the Elder: The Biggles-looking chap
    Henry III: That 1216 to 1272 Fellow
    Robert the Bruce: The Dancing Robot

    So if you ever get bored of mentioning Margaret the Maid of Norway (in the unlikely event that you’ll ever have to refer to her again), why not try “Maidy Lady” instead?

    Nick Lord Lancaster

    • Hi Nick, good idea listening to both series concurrently – interesting to see how they fit together. That’s great that your daughter is enjoying the cards as well – Maidy Lady is a wonderful nickname! And we may well have cause to mention her again before the series is out. Dancing Robot is a great description of the Bruce card as well, she could give Ali a run for his money when it comes to the cards!

  41. Love the podcast!! A wee bit of pronounciation help. Alba is a Gaelic word and it’s pronounced “Ah-lap-ah”. Which let’s face it isn’t exactly intuitive.

    • Hi Daniel, glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Thanks for the pronunciation tip – we did get told this at some point so hopefully you’ll find us get it right eventually!

  42. Hi chaps,

    Random question from a loyal Privy Council member. If you were King(s), joint and/or individually, which period would you want to reign over and what would be your Kingly actions?

    Not sure why but I can imagine Ali would want to be remembered for Scandal (Charles II?!) and Graham for Subjectivity.

    Cheers and look forward to the next episode!

    • Hi Henry, good question! I think you might be right about Ali, though there are also those Welsh castles to think of… We’ll come back to you on that in the next Privy Chamber podcast we record (which won’t be Robert the Bruce as that’s already been done!)

  43. Have recently discovered your podcast and have binge listened to the English monarchs over the last couple of months. Loving the podcast, especially the English (language and culture) in-jokes, dry humour and occasional sarky comments – I am a Brit now living in the US and miss home (and real cadbury chocolate!). Like that you are doing the Scottish monarchs next and really pleased you will be doing consorts. I also thought it might be interesting to do one on ‘the man who would “never” be king’ – all the first born children who died before they could inherit. They are touched on but some of them lead fascinating lives (e.g. Matilda, Edward the Black Prince, Henry the Young King, Prince Eddie).

    • Hi Catherine, thanks a lot for the message. Not sure we could ever replace Cadbury but glad we’re able to remind you of home! Good idea on the “nearlies” of British history, there are quite a few notables like you say – Henry Stuart (Charles I’s elder and better brother) would be another one, and Prince Arthur (Henry VIII’s elder brother). There have been special episode requests for Matilda and for Edgar the Aetheling (1066) so we’re going to be covering some of them in the future at least but maybe the others will get a look in at some point as well.

  44. Hey guys, just wanted to say how great the podcast is, I am addicted. Bit behind but nearing the end of the English monarchs (Bertie!) and looking forward to the Scots. Also, enjoyed the Aragon special hah good work 🙂
    Have you considered Roman Emperors next? plenty of juicy scandal and battleyness to sink your teeth into

    Mari x

    • Hi Mari, thanks for getting in touch, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Roman Emperors is definitely on our potential list for the future but after the Scots we’re planning to do the English queen and prince consorts (Eleanor of Aquitaine, Anne Boleyn, Prince Albert, etc.) There’s a podcast called Totalus Rankium that you might want to check out for the Romans which was inspired by Rex Factor.

  45. I absolutely love your podcasts! A good friend of my fiance recently introduced me to them and I now look forward to my daily commute. I was especially impressed by your “What happened to Henry VIII?” episode. I fully agree with the physical injury argument. As a Sailor in the US Navy, I suffered a traumatic brain injury when I smacked my head on a bulkhead and then again on the deck as I passed out. Since then I’ve had trouble controlling my temper. Of course, I’m no king, so people put me in my place. But I can see how it’d make Henry go off the deep end. I’m looking forward to catching up with your episodes, particularly Oliver Cromwell. Being a descendant of Irish immigrants, I’ve always heard about him through Irish eyes. It’ll be very interesting to hear an English perspective. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Jeremiah, thanks a lot for the comment, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Particularly glad that you enjoyed the Henry VIII extra episode given your own personal experience – we’ll never know exactly what happened to Henry and how much of it was through physical and emotional trauma but it definitely seemed to us like something did genuinely change. Will be interesting to hear what you think of Cromwell – we were very much aware of Irish sensitivities in respect of that episode!

      • The Cromwell episode was great! You two were very fair and I came away with a much more rounded understanding of his role in England and by extension his impact on the rest of the world. I completely agree, he shouldn’t have gotten the Rex Factor because it probably would have irked him. Just finished the George III review and my only comment would be that, despite Great Britain’s command of the seas, our Navy made a good show of itself in the Revolution under John Paul Jones (a Scott and father of the US Navy) and the USS Constitution racked up a few wins in 1812 as well. Even though, admittedly these were against lesser ships and she was unable to break the blockade. Looking forward to starting the Scottish kings soon. Take care!

  46. First off, love the show.

    Second off, there were some recent lamentations on the lack of colorful Scottish accents when Graham reads historical quotes. Your reluctance to try an impression is sad, but probably for the best. I don’t think you quite realize the resources you have at your disposal, though. Surely, if you posted some quotes you were planning on using in upcoming shows on the Blog with a description of their age, gender and nationality you could get some listeners to send you an audio file or two? There have got to be some Scottish rex-fans out there who want their 30-seconds of fame…


    • Hi Samuel, good idea, we could have our own auditioning process with people sending in their best efforts and then Ali and I could judge them and put the best ones through to the next round. But what to call it…

  47. Rex Factor,

    Not sure it’s been mentioned since I’ve just started listening to you guys but in William Rufus’s podcast you mentioned Conan’s defenestration and that the word defenestration sounded familiar. The most notable defenestration happened in 1618 Prague which marks the starting phases of the Thirty Years War.

    Mary Kate
    United States

  48. Hey guys,

    I’ve just started listening to your podcast a week and a half ago, and as such, just finished Edgar the Peaceable (but moving quickly)! At this rate, I’ll catch up to you around the week of June 14, 2016. I’m not sure if you’re still in the habit of mentioning your comments, but I’ll hear about it some 4 weeks previously, anyway.

    Just wanted to let you know, I love the show — recommended by a couple of other Shakespeare nerds like myself in NYC, and Rex Factor is perfect to listen to at the gym (especially Battle-y-ness).

    Keep up the good work!

    Robin Rightmyer

  49. Dear Rex Factor,
    Earlier this summer I started listening to your show, I was going to catch up to the present before commenting, but I just listened to the semi finals results and I wish I had been able to vote for Edward I. I know it wouldn’t have changed the results, but I’m so appalled by the public making such a horrific mistake.
    Although Ali doesn’t always make the right decisions (Edgar the Peaceable), at least he voted properly (unlike some other unmentionable hosts).

    Ya’ll’s show is amazing. Thank you Graham and Ali for this amazing show. I can safely and enthusiastically recommend this to my friends that enjoy history or entertaining podcasts. Even if you run out of kings and queens, please consider doing a general biography show, because you’re so good at it. Figures I’d enjoy hearing you review – Eleanor of Aquitaine, Catherine of Valois, William Marshall and so many more! Frankly, with those three I’d love to hear if they could Rex Factor.

    Thank you!!!!!!!
    Elizabeth Emerson
    Birmingham, Alabama (not Warwickshire)

    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m sure Ali would be delighted to hear you sticking up for Edward I! Thanks a lot for recommending us to your friends. Special episodes on the likes of William Marshall is definitely something we’ll be looking at in the future.

  50. Hi guys, I just found your podcast and I love it! I don’t know why I am fixated on British history but I can’t get enough. This is such a fun idea and I appreciate all the time and research you invest in it. It is also highly entertaining, with your banter and all. I am only up to #7 Eadwig so far, but I’ve listened to most of them twice. I am wondering – you refer to the website where you hoped to post maps and pictures, but I can’t find it. Have I just not looked hard enough?

    • Hi Cheri, glad you’re enjoying the podcast thus far. I fear with the maps and pictures promise, you’ve encountered our good intentions on which we did not quite deliver! It took us a while to really get going on a website and so there aren’t currently any supportive blogs relating to the English monarchs until we get to the play-offs at the end. We’re now doing that for our second series (on the Scots) and at some point I will get round to filling the gap for the Saxons et al – but not quite yet! If you’ve got any questions about any of the things we talk about, though, we’d be happy to try to shed some light that the website isn’t providing as of yet!

  51. Great to have you back guys. Really enjoyed the Kenneth episode. Didn’t quite understand Ally’s frustration over the lack of pictures during big Ken’s reign as he, as is well, documented, de-Picted all of Scotland!

  52. Hi guys,

    Really enjoyed the series though I still have a number of episodes to listen to but will hopefully get enough time to complete them soon. Originating from Scotland myself and having an interest in the Stuart kings, I am looking forward to hearing your series on Scottish monarchs. I was just wondering when you are looking to begin casting these?

    Great work guys – hope to hear more soon!

    Kind Regards,
    Mark Craig Robertson

    • Hi Mark, glad you enjoyed (or are enjoying) the English monarchs. We’ve a bit on hold at the moment as Ali’s been very busy at work so we need to have a chat about when we’ll be able to get started on the Scots, but looking forward to it!

  53. Hello,

    I’ve recently finished the Rex Factor podcasts and I loved them! Before you, all I new about English history was what I had learned in the TV shows ‘Tudors’ and ‘Blackadder’ but now I feel I probably know everything. Please do a special ‘Life of Manny’ podcast as I think that would be epic.

    As a Scot I am very excited for your Scottish Rex Factor Podcasts. I just wanted to let you know that you have been pronouncing the Stone of Scone incorrectly. When you’ve mentioned it in other podcasts you’ve said Scone (rhymes with one) when it should be pronounced like Scoon to rhyme with soon. I hope that’s helpful – Ali did say he wanted to work on his Scottish accent.


    • Hi Hannah, really glad you’ve enjoyed the podcast. No bad thing to have had the training in Blackadder (and Tudors is a guilty pleasure, despite its dubious accuracy!) but happy to fill in some of the gaps!

      Thanks for the Scone/Scoon assistance – I think it’s fair to assume that (certainly with the early Scottish kings) pronunciation is going to be quite a challenge at times!


      • Hi there,

        The links for the all the surveys have been on the “Voting” page throughout the play-offs. This page is located under the “Play-Offs” tab. I did do a link in my reply but for some reason this has not shown on WordPress. It should be below this one as well, otherwise the WordPress page links obviously don’t work! But the survey link is available on the Voting page on this site and we will be doing several blog entries on the main page which will also feature the survey link.

        The reason that we have set up this site is for doing blog entires, which is a bit more user-friendly than the Podbean site, though this is where the actual audio files of the podcast are stored. Long-term we’ll look to have a one-stop shop that has everything.


  54. Hey fellas. First and most importantly- holy cupcakes, I’m in love with this podcast. I binge listened the entire back catalogue in a little under two weeks. Pure perfection, almost… Which brings me to Victoria. Setting aside her yawn-inducing vanilla pudding personality, I really have to say I’m disappointed that you put such a high gloss on ‘her’ achievements. If you’re going to grant her the glory of victories she didn’t have much more than a nominal hand in, you really ought to have assigned her a fair portion of the blame for the atrocities suffered by the indigenous societies once they were colonized. The sending of a few paltry pounds to Ireland during the famine is really the least of her failings. Credit should’ve gone hand in hand with criticism in this case, I feel. Otherwise, wondrous work! xoxo

    • Hi Amy, glad you’re enjoying the podcast! For all the more modern monarchs we have to allow there glories of the reign or else they wouldn’t stand a chance and we’d have to mitts all that stuff out. The atrocities of empire are tricky – for one thing, they don’t really got into the factors but also (and this is a point of heated debate!) you could argue that as major empires go Victoria’s was comparatively benign (compared to European contemporaries and English predecessors – not much comfort if it is affecting you, of course). Plus, Victoria was quite ahead of the time with her progressive views on race so she could have been a lot worse!

  55. Hey, guys.

    So what are you guys going to do once you’ve finished with the Playoffs? Maybe you should take Rex Factor on the road, so to speak.

    Take whoever wins and put him or her up against some of the other greatest rulers in world history. Charlemagne. Peter the Great. Gustavus Adolphus. John III Sobieski. Suleiman the Magnificent. Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor). Tokugawa Ieyasu.

    If you want to go include ancient times, Alexander the Great. Ramesses II. Caesar Augustus.

    • Hi Brian, there definitely will be a follow-up series once we’ve finished the play-offs. Not quite ready to say what that is yet but stay tuned!

      • Just what I was thinking! An alternative would be a Scotland RexFactor. Whatever you choose, please don’t forget to give as much weight to social achievements as to ‘battliness’.

      • We will not forget our balance of factors! And I think the finalists suggest that battleyness hasn’t been everything – no place for the likes of Edward III or Henry V despite their military glories.

  56. Hello Rexfactorers,

    I love your podcast and have made several positive contributions to our pub trivia team as a result, so cheers for that. For me, Richard the Lionheart has been the biggest disappointment. I knew only a fictionalised version of him through the Robin Hood stories so I was not at all prepared for his disloyalty (to his Dad), his jealousy/greed (that his brothers would get a bigger slice of the pie than he) or either his warmongering glory hound ways or his religious mania (I couldn’t decide which of these motivated him to take on his crusade efforts but am leaning toward the glory hound) that resulted in what seems to be a total disregard for his subjects. I’m looking forward to the final results and seeing who ends up top dog. Thanks very much for the podcast.

    Enmore, Australia

  57. Hi guys!
    I’ve been a longtime listener but have never commented. Just want to say thanks for the podcast! I love listening to it on my runs and when I’m on public transit. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end. What’s next?

    • Hi Celeste, thanks for the comment, really glad you’ve been enjoying the podcast – hope it’s helped keep your speed up! We have some thoughts for what well do next but all eyes on the play-offs for now – do you have a personal favourite?

  58. Hi Gents!
    Love the podcast. I’m only up to Richard II but you keep remarking longevity is consistently throwing a spanner in the works when it comes to the ratings.

    An alternative to your current approach would be to allocate the monarch with the longest reign a score of 20/20 (10 each from you both) and the monarch with the shortest scores 0/20. Apparently there are 52 kings and queens (the same number as a pack of cards!) and so you could divide 20 by 52 to find the increment between adjacent monarchs (when listed by longevity).

    E.g. Longest reign = Victoria scores 20/20

    2nd longest reign = Elizabeth II scores 20 – (1 x 20/52)
    = 19.6

    3rd longest reign = George III scores 20 – (2 x 20/52)
    = 19.2

    An obvious issue with my idea is that it does not actually reflect the amount of time of reign – only the rank of their longevity was in relation to others. But it would ensure longevity is not given undue weight against battliness, scandal and subjectivity. And if you did the same with Dynasty you would end up with a score out of 100.

    Anyway that’s definitely more than enough from me. Again I am really enjoying the podcast and look forward to the (rumoured) knock-out tournament.
    I’ll be cheering for Edward II 🙂

    Newcastle, Australia.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for the suggestion. Can’t remember when it came along but we did develop a formula for Longevity and Dynasty – took the biggest score of any monarch and turned this into a multiple of 20 and then applied it to each monarch’s actual number to get a score out of 20 to make it fairer.

      • Yes.. BUT… recently on the Scottish series somebody pointed out how the Pattiometer doesn’t take into account how much harder it was to rule for 10 years in say 9th century Scotland than say ruling the UK in the late 19th century… Mark’s scheme wouldn’t completely fix that, but then at least you wouldn’t have so many monarchs with such low scores. A less straightforward metric might be to divide each reign by the longest preceding reign and multiply by 20. That way, if you set a new record, you get 20 points. I mean, really, how can Constantine II not receive top marks? Staying alive as King dodging Vikings in 10th century Scotland for 40 years is worth at least 150 years holding tea parties and cutting ribbons in modern London.


      • Ooh, interesting idea! We’ve had a number of suggestions for how to re-do longevity but this one is a bit different. Will be interesting to see what that looks like when I try it out with the data.

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