At the start of the twelfth century, the Scottish monarchs were caught in the net of England’s Norman kings and seemingly incapable of siring heirs. As yet another son of Malcolm III came to the throne, would Alexander I be able to steady the ship and set Scotland on a new course?
Listen to Alexander’s episode here or read on to find out more.
According to William Shakespeare, Duncan was a kindly old king murdered in his bed by the villainous Macbeth, but what was the real story? Duncan’s grandfather had ruled Scotland for nearly thirty years but the reign had ended with dynastic conflict. Would Duncan prove the wise king of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or was the reality of history rather less glorious. Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.
Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, portrayed by David Thewlis
After two short reigns mired by dynastic conflict, Scotland’s monarchy was looking a little precarious at the end of the tenth century. If Kenneth II was going to succeed where others would fail he would not only have to defeat his rival, Olaf, but find a way to solve the succession crisis once and for all. His story involves murder, rowing up the River Dee and one of the most remarkable deaths featured in Rex Factor as well as everybody’s favourite monk! To listen to his podcast episode, click here, or read on to find out more.
After two successful reigns, Indulf came to the throne in 954 at a time when the Scottish kingdom was on the up. His reign marks a return to a period where we have short reigns and limited evidence but despite this, the few details we have about Indulf are surprisingly rewarding. Edinburgh, Vikings and a pride before a fall await. Click here to listen to his podcast episode or read on to find out more.
Kenneth MacAlpin is traditionally seen as the first King of Scots, unifying the northern kingdoms against the Vikings and establishing a new nation in the process. However, the truth is a little more nuanced and involves a host of disputed events including warfare, skulduggery, lost animals and a curious smell of fish. So, just who was Kenneth MacAlpin and does he have the Rex Factor? Read our latest blog to find out and vote in our poll to give your verdict.