Saint Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury

Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury was the first consort of King Edmund I of England, and while her impact on the historical record was limited in life, in death she achieved the lucrative status of sainthood. We look at who the real Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury was and how and why she came to become a saint.

Listen to her podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Eadgifu of Kent

Although by no means a famous name today, Eadgifu of Kent is the first of the Wessex consorts to have been a major figure at court and she enjoyed great influence for half a century. Interestingly, however, it was not as the king’s wife but as the king’s mother (and even grandmother) that Eadgifu was to demonstrate the potential power that consorts could wield.

Listen to her podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Ælfflæd

Ælfflæd was the second of Edward the Elder’s three wives and, although the longest serving of Edward’s wives, is a good example of the vulnerability of Saxon consorts. We take a look at her time as consort and then her efforts to have a role in the succession and the significance of consorts in this process.

Listen to her podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians

Æthelflæd was one of the most remarkable figures of the Anglo-Saxon period who played a crucial role in the creation of the nation of England. The daughter of Alfred the Great, consort and then ruler in Mercia, she worked with her brother, Edward the Elder, to defeat the Vikings and brought up Athelstan, who would finish the job of unifying the Anglo-Saxon people under one nation.

Listen to her podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Ealhswith

The first of the English consorts, Ealhswith, was married to Alfred the Great for over thirty years and yet we know very little about her. Not only is she an obscure figure but she was also only a consort, never actually queen. We take a look at what we do know about Ealhswith, why we don’t know more and why she was never dubbed ‘Queen Ealhswith’.

Listen to her podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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James II of Scotland (1437-60)

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After a succession of ineffective monarchs and the assassination of his own father, James II was facing a difficult reign as King of Scots. Throw into the mix an overmighty subject with the 8th Earl Douglas and the fact that he was only a child when he became king and it looks even trickier. However, James II was a young man full of energy and determination, but would it be enough for him to be the first successful Stewart monarch? Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Robert III (1390-1406)

After a century plagued by a lack of male heirs, by 1390 there were too many! Robert III was well past his best when he became king and the country was technically being ruled by his younger brother. With another brother causing havoc in the north, this was not going to be an easy reign for Robert III, but if he could secure the succession for his own children then perhaps the newly established Stewart dynasty would bring some much-needed stability to Scotland. To find out how he got on, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Robert II (1371-90)

Although famous for their James’s, the Stewart royal dynasty actually began with Robert II in 1371. For Robert to get things off to a flying start he would need to find a way to deal with the threat of invasion by Edward III, a rebellious nobility in Scotland and the relentless ambition of his own sons. To find out how he got on, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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David II (1329-71)

As the son of Robert the Bruce, David II had a very high bar to reach. In taking the throne as a child with a young Edward III determined to avenge English humiliation and put Scotland back in its place, the bar was threatening to disappear into the clouds. With a rival for the throne in the form of Edward Balliol and the impending drama of the Hundred Years War, could David II keep his throne and save his country, or would the hard work of the Bruce be undone? To find out, you can listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Robert the Bruce (1306-29)

Robert the Bruce is one of the most famous names in Scottish history, but can the real man live up to the legend? There was certainly a lot on his plate with Scotland bereft of a king and under the rule of Edward I of England, but could Robert the Bruce restore liberty to Scotland? Listen to his podcast here or read on to find out more.

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