Consorts of England 1066–present

Consorts of England 1066–present


Matilda of Flanders; b ca 1031 in Flanders, daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Adela of France: m 1053, William The Conqueror; crowned 11 May 1068 as Consort. A woman of great capability, often left in charge by William as his Regent of Normandy whenever he was in England. She joined William in England for the coronation and a tour of the north of England, where she gave birth to her son Henry. She later returned to Normandy for good and died there in 1083.

Matilda of Scotland
, b 1079/80 Dunfermline, the elder daughter of Malcolm III, King of the Scots and St Margret Atheling: m as his 1st wife, 1100, Henry I, at Westminster Abbey; crowned Queen at Westminster on the day of her marriage, 11 November 1100; had been expected to ‘take the veil’ and so her marriage to the king was a surprise. She was responsible for the building of a leper hospital at St Giles in the Fields, London, and founded the Augustinian Priory at Aldgate; d 1118 and was buried at Westminster.

Adeliza of Louvain
, b ca 1105, the daughter of Godfrey I, The Bearded, Duke of Lower Lorraine; m as his 2nd wife, 1122, Henry I at Windsor Castle; crowned Queen five days later, 3 February 1122 at Westminster Abbey. She had no issue by Henry and after his death m 1138, 1st Earl of Arundel, by whom she had a larger family; retired to Afflinghem Convent in Flanders; d 1151.

Matilda of Boulogne, b ca 1105, the daughter of Eustace III, Count of Boulogne and Mary of Scotland: m ca 1125, Stephen; crowned 22 March 1136. Heir to her father and de jure Countess of Boulogne; her mother was the younger sister of Matilda of Scotland, the first Queen of Henry I. Matilda was a staunch supporter of her husband, capturing London for him from her cousin, the Empress Matilda (who challenged Stephen for the Crown); also forced the Empress from the siege of Winchester and managed to secure Stephen’s release in 1141; d 1152 at Hedingham Castle in Essex and was buried at Faversham Abbey.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
, b ca 1122 at Bordeaux or Belin in France, the daughter of William X, Count of Poitou: m 18 May 1152, Henry II at Bordeaux; crowned Queen of England 25 December 1158 (she m 1137, Louis VII, King of France; the marriage was annulled, 21 March 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity, but more likely because the marriage produced no sons, only daughters, whose remained with their father after the annulment). Eleanor’s parents died when she was very young and she was raised by her grandfather, William IX, Duke of Aquitaine. She was much older than her husband when they married in 1152 (Henry was only 19, she about 30). Their marriage was successful in that she bore him eight children, but neither party was strictly monogamous. Mother of Richard The Lionheart and King John; d 1204 at Fontevraud and was buried in the Abbey there.

Berengaria, of Navarre, b ca 1163, Pamplona, daughter of Sancho VI (The Wise), King of Navarre and Beatrice of Castile: m 1189, Richard I, The Lionheart, at Westminster Abbey; crowned (and married) at Limasol, Cyprus, on 12 May 1191. She was the only English Queen never to have set foot in England, most likely due in part, to her husband’s frequent absences from the country (he spent less time in England than any other monarch in history); founded the Abbey of L’Epau in Le Mans, where she retired in 1230, dying soon after and was buried there. There was no issue of this marriage and it is thought that it was never consumated; some historians believe the marriage only took place at the urging of his mother and the choice of the bride, by Richard, was solely for her likeness to her brother Sancho, with whom Richard had formed a ‘strong friendship’.

Isabella of Angoulême, b ca 1188, the daughter of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angoulême: m 1200, at Bordeaux, as his 2nd wife (his first never having been acknowledged as Queen), King John; crowned Westminster Abbey, 8 October 1200. At the time of her marriage, Isabella was betrothed to Hugh X, Count of La Marche (who she would marry as her 2nd husband in or about 1220); d 1246 at Fontevraud, and was buried in the Abbey there; some year slater her son, Henry III, had her body moved into the choir of the Abbey Church.

Eleanor of Provence, b ca 1223 at Aix-en-Provence, daughter of Raymond Berenger V, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy: m 14 January 1236, Henry III, at Canterbury Cathedral; crowned 20 January 1236, Westminster Abbey. An unpopular Queen with Londoners; lover of poetry, song and fashion; d 1291 in Amesbury, Wiltshire, and was buried at the convent church, with her heart buried in the Church of Friars Minors in London.

Eleanor of Castile, b ca 1244, daughter of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon, and Jeanne, Countess of Ponthieu: m October 1254, Edward I, Las Huelgas; crowned Westminster Abbey 19 August 1274. Well-educated, read, and a keen gardener d 1290, at Grantham, Lincolnshire, on her way to join her husband in France; his grief at her passing was so great he ordered the erection of Eleanor Crosses at each place the Queen’s body rested on its journey back to London.

Margaret of France, b in Paris ca 1279: m 1299, Canterbury, 2nd wife of Edward I; was never crowned or consecrated Queen; d 14 February 1317, Marlborough Castle, and was buried at Grey Friars in London.

Isabella of France, b ca 1295 in Paris, daughter of Philip IV King of France and Jeanne, Queen of Navarre: m 25 January 1308, Edward II, at Boulogne; crowned Westminster Abbey 25 February 1308. Nicknamed the ‘she-wolf of France’. She conspired with Roger Mortimer to raise an army and imprisoned her husband in Berkeley Castle, where he was tortured and d 1327. Her son, Edward III, later had Mortimer executed at Tyburn (the first to be executed there) for his crimes and his mother was banished to Castle Rising in Norfolk, where she d 1358.

Philippa of Hainault, b 1311, Valenciennes, daughter of William III Count of Holland and Hainault, and Jeanne of Valois: m 1328, Edward III; crowned at Westminster Abbey in March 1330. Queen’s College in Oxford was founded in her honour and established by Royal Charter in 1341; d 14 August 1369, Windsor Castle, buried at Westminster Abbey.

Anne of Bohemia, b 1366 Prague, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, and Elizabeth of Pomerania: m January 1382, Richard II, in Westminster; crowned Westminster Abbey 22 January 1382. She is credited with the introduction of the side saddle into England; d 1394, of the plague; buried Westminster Abbey.

Isabella of France, b 1389, daughter of Charles VI King of France and Isabella of Bavaria: m 1396 Richard II at Calais, when she was aged only seven and he was 29; crowned 8 January 1397 at Westminster. Upon his deposition she was confined to Sonning in Oxfordshire, without knowledge of her husband’s fate or death. She eventually returned to France where she m 1406, her cousin, Charles of Angoulême, son of Louis, Duke of Orleans. Isabella d 1409, in childbirth, and was buried firstly at the Abbey of St Saumer, Blois, and later, in about 1624, transferred to Paris.

Joan of Navarre, b ca 1370 in Pamplona, daughter of Charles II, King of Navarre (The Bad) and Joan of France and widow of John V, Duke of Brittany: m 1402 (by proxy) at Eltham Castle, Henry IV and in person at Winchester Cathedral 7 February 1403; crowned Westminster 26 February 1403. Although both Joan and Henry had large families with their first spouses, their marriage did not produce any children. Joan was so well-regarded by her stepson, Henry V, that he left her to act as Regent while he was away in France and he referred to her as ‘his dearest mother’. In 1418, Joan was imprisoned for four years, accused of witchcraft, but was released and her property and dowry restored, She lived quietly for the rest of her life, dying at Havering atte Bower on 9 July 1437; she was buried with Henry IV at Canterbury.

Catherine of France, b 1410 in Paris, daughter of Charles VI, King of France and Isabelle of Bavaria: m 1420 Henry V, at Troyes; crowned Westminster Abbey 24 February 1421.. She was the younger sister of Isabella of France, who married Richard II in 1396 (see above). Catherine died in Bermondsey Abbey 3 January 1437 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. She is reputed to have married Owen Tudor in 1428, and bore him three sons: Edmund, Jasper and Owen Tudor. Her original tomb referred only to her being the widow of Henry V but when her grandson was crowned Henry VII, he had it replaced by another, which acknowledged her marriage to Owen Tudor. When Henry VII was buried her body was disinterred and remained above ground in a chest for ‘the best part of three centuries’. It became a curiosity, and, for a few pence, visitors to the Abbey could view the body. Amongst those who did so was Samuel Pepys, who records the event in his diary of 23 February 1669.

Margaret of Anjou, b 23 March 1429, Lorraine, the daughter of René, Duke of Anjou, and Isabelle, Duchess of Lorraine: m March 1445 in Nancy (by proxy) to Henry VI and later in April 1445 at Titchfield Abbey, Hampshire, in person; crowned at Westminster Abbey on 30 May 1445. Margaret founded Queen’s College, Cambridge, in 1448; d 1482, in exile and is buried with her parents at Cathédral Saint-Maurice d’Angers, France.

Elizabeth Woodville, b ca 1437 in Northamptonshire, daughter of Richard, 1st Earl Rivers, and Jacquette of Luxembourg, and widow of Sir John Grey: m 1464, Edward IV; crowned at Westminster 26 May 1465. Elizabeth d 8 June 1492 in Bermondsey Abbey and was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Anne Nevill, b 1456, daughter of Richard, Earl of Warwick (The King Maker) and Lady Anne Beauchamp, and widow of Edward, Prince of Wales (only son of Henry VI): m 1472 Richard III, at Westminster Abbey; crowned 6 July 1483 at Westminster; d 16 March 1485 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth of York, b 11 February 1466, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: m 1486, Henry VII; crowned at Westminster Abbey on 25 November 1487; d 11 February 1503, Tower of London; buried in Westminster Abbey.

Catherine of Aragon, b 1485, daughter of Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile, and widow of Arthur, Prince of Wales: m 11 June 1509 at Greenwich, Henry VIII; crowned 24 June 1509; marriage declared null and void 23 May 1433 and dissolved March 1534. Catherine, was the mother of Mary I. Catherine d 7 January 1536, at Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire; buried at Peterborough Castle.

Anne Boleyn, Marchioness of Pembroke, b ca 1502, da of Thomas, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde, and Lady Elizabeth Howard: m 25 January 1533, Henry VIII; crowned 1 June 1533; marriage declared valid 28 May 1533 and invalid 17 May 1536. Mother of Elizabeth I. Executed at Tower Green 19 May 1536; buried in Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London.

Jane Seymour, b ca 1503, at Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire, daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth: m 30 May 1536, Henry VIII; never crowned, her coronation being delayed twice: firstly because of an outbreak of plague, secondly due to her pregnancy; d 1537 at Hampton Court; buried St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Instrumental in the reconciliation of Henry with his daughter Mary. Mother of Edward VI.

Anne of Cleves, b 1515 in Dusseldorf, daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and Marie of Julich: m 6 January 1540 Henry VIII; marriage annulled 9 July 1540. The marriage lasting only six months, Anne was never crowned. After the divorce, Henry referred to Anne as ‘my good sister’ and it seems that they were on good terms. Anne d 17 July 1557, Chelsea; buried in Westminster Abbey.

Catherine Howard, b ca 1520, daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpeper: m 28 July 1540, Henry VIII; never crowned and was executed on Tower Green 13 February 1542; buried in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London.

Catherine Parr, b ca 1512, daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green, and widow of John, 3rd Baron Latimer, and previously wife of Sir Edward Borough: m 12 July 1545, Henry VIII. Instigated the reunion of the Royal Family, Christmas 1543 by bringing together the king’s three surviving children, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward, for the first time. She appears to have been more of a companion and nursemaid to Henry, he being elderly and quite ill by this time in his life. After his death in January 1547, Catherine m April/May 1547, the man she had planned to marry before the King intervened. Thomas, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, brother of Queen Jane Seymour; d at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, 5 September 1548; buried in the chapel there.

Lord Guildford Dudley, b ca 1535, son of 1st Duke of Northumberland: m 21 May 1553, Lady Jane Gray, who was Queen for nine days in July 1553 although she was never crowned. He was beheaded on Tower Green 12 February 1554; buried in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London.

Philip II, King of Spain, b 1527 in Valladolid, son of Charles I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Isabella of Portugal: m 25 July 1554 at Winchester Cathedral, Mary I. Mary died 17 November 1558 and he remarried the following year to Elizabeth of France. He spent only a few months in England and was never crowned as Mary’s consort; Philip d 13 September 1598; buried in El Escorial.

Anne of Denmark, b 1574, daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway, and Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow: m 20 August 1589 (by proxy) at Kronborg, James I of England (V of Scotland) and in person at Oslo on 23 November 1589 and at Kronborg on 21 January 1590; crowned at Holyrood 17 May 1590 and in Westminster Abbey on 25 July 1603. Anne had an interest in amateur dramatics and building; the Queen’s House in Greenwich was created for her; d 4 March 1619, Hampton Court; buried in Westminster Abbey.

Henrietta Maria of France, b 1609 in Parish, da of Henry IV King of France and Navarre, and Marie d’Medici: m 1 May 1625, (by proxy) Charles I and 13 June 1625 (in person); as a Catholic she was never crowned Queen. Escaped to France in 1644 were she remained until after the Restoration. Pepys described her in his diary entry of 22 November 1660 as a ‘very little plain old woman, and nothing more in her presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman’. Henrietta d 31 August 1669, in France; buried in the royal basilica of St Denis; her tomb was despoiled during the French Revolution.

Catherine Henrietta of Braganza, b 1638, the daughter of John IV, King of Portugal, and Luiza Maria de Guzman: m 21 May 1662 Charles II, at Portsmouth, Hampshire; as a catholic she was never crowned Queen. Pepys described her thus: ‘though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing.’ She returned to Portugal after her husband’s death and d 31 December 1705 in the Palace of Bemposta, Lisbon; buried at Belém, Brazil.

Anne Hyde, b 1638, daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Clarendon, and Frances Aylesbury: m (secretly) 24 November 1659, in Breda, Holland, James II and publicly in London on 3 September 1660; originally Anglican, she converted to Catholicism and was never crowned Queen; d 1671, St James’ Palace.

Mary Beatrice Eleanora, of Modena, b 1658, da of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena and Laura Martinozzi: m (by proxy) 30 September 1673, in Modena, James II and in person at Dover on 21 November 1673; crowned at Westminster Abbey 23 April 1685; d 7 May 1718 at St Germain-en-Laye; buried in the Convent of Chaillot. At the time of her marriage, Mary was only four years older than her eldest step-daughter.

Prince George of Denmark, Duke of Cumberland, b 1653, Copenhagen, son of Frederick III, King of Denmark, and Sophia Amelia of Brunswick-Luneburg: m 1683, Anne. Prince George was never crowned as he preferred to remain a Prince, declaring ‘I am her Majesty’s subject’; d 28 October 1708 at Kensington Palace.

Sophia Dorothea
, b 1666, daughter of George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle and Eleonore Desmiers d’Olbreuse: m 22 November 1682 in Celle, George I; divorced in Hanover 28 December 1694 (generally regarded as ineffective in England). Never crowned Queen and does not appear to have ever set foot in England; d 1726 and was buried in Celle.

Wilhelmina Dorothea Caroline of Ansbach
, b 1683, daughter of John-Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Eleonore Erdmuthe Louise of Saxe-Eisenach: m 1705, George II; crowned at Westminster Abbey 11 October 1727. Politically aware, she was an ardent supporter of her husband as King and acted as Regent during his absences; d 1737 St James’ Palace; buried in Westminster Abbey. When her husband d 1760 he was buried alongside her and, according to his wishes, the sideboards of their coffins were removed so that their hands could be joined together.

Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, b 1744, daughter of Charles Louise Frederick, of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Prince of Mirow, and Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen: m 8 September 1761 at St James’ Palace, George III; crowned at Westminster Abbey, 22 September 1761. Charlotte, as she was known, had no interest in politics and preferred to concentrate on domestic matters; d 17 November 1818 at Kew; buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick, b 1768, daughter of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, and Princess Augusta of Wales: m 8 April 1795, George IV at Chapel Royal, St James’s; denied entrance to Westminster on coronation day and was never crowned Queen. Caroline wrote to her husband demanding that her coronation take place the following Monday only to fall ill the Sunday before; d 7 August 1821 at Brandenburg House in London; buried, according to her wishes, in Brunswick, Germany.

Adelaide Louisa Theresa Caroline Amelia of Saxe-Meiningen, b 1792, daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, and Princess Louisa Eleonora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg: m 1 July 1818, William IV, at Kew; crowned at Westminster Abbey 8 September 1831; d 2 December 1849; buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Prince Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, b 1819, son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg: m 10 February 1840, Victoria, at St James’ Palace. Prince Albert was Prince Consort from 26 June 1857; the PM at the time advised against granting Albert the title King Consort and Parliament objected to a peerage for him. As consort to a Queen he had no power or responsibilities which at first he found difficult. Prince Albert immersed himself in public causes and ran the Queen’s household. One of his greatest successes was the Great Exhibition of 1851; d 1861 at Windsor Castle; buried in St George’s Chapel.

Alexandra Caroline Mary Charlotte Louisa Julia of Denmark, b 1844, daughter of Christian IX, King of Denmark, and Princes Louise of Hesse-Cassel: m 1863, Edward VII, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor; crowned 9 August 1902 at Westminster Abbey. Alexandra became the first Queen Consort, since the Middle Ages, to be made a Lady of the Order of the Garter, and this created a precedence which continues to this day; d 20 November 1925, Sandringham House, Norfolk; buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Victoria Mary Augusta Louisa Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck, b 1867, Kensington Palace, daughter of Francis, Prince and Duke of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide, of Cambridge: m 1893, George V, Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace; crowned 22 June 1911. Mary, as she was known, was originally betrothed to George’s brother, but was immediately suggested as a potential bride for George upon Arthur’s untimely death in 1892. Mary loved collecting anything that took her fancy and loved jewels, often wearing gems which would look gaudy on anyone else. Winston Churchill famously stated: ’She looked like a Queen and she acted like a Queen.’ Queen Mary d 24 March 1953, Marlborough House; buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Bessie Wallis Warfield, b 1896, only child of Teackle Wallis Warfield and Alice Montague and former wife of Ernest Aldrich Simpson and Captain Earl Winfield Spencer Jr: m 3 June 1937, Edward, Duke of Windsor; the former Edward VII, who abdicated so that he could marry the twice divorced American. Although Edward retained the right to use HRH, this was never granted to Wallis, who was styled, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, from marriage until her death in France in 1986; buried next to her husband in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, Windsor.

Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, b 1900, daughter of Claude, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and Nina Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck: m 26 April 1923, George VI, at Westminster Abbey; crowned 12 May 1937. She was much beloved as Queen Mother to her daughter Elizabeth, and an avid supporter of her husband when he unexpectedly became King upon the abdication of Edward VII. On the morning of the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday, the Royal Family gathered at the gates of Clarence House to watch, along with millions of television viewers, as she received her telegram from the Queen. The occasion was also marked with a parade celebrating highlights of her life and involved many of the organisations of which she was a patron; d 2002, aged 101 at the Royal Lodge, Windsor; buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, b 1921, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and Princess Alice of Battenberg: m 1947, Elizabeth II, Westminster Abbey; not crowned consort. Prince Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles before the marriage, converted to the Church of England, adopted the surname of Mountbatten (his mother’s family name) and became a naturalised British subject. On the morning of his marriage the King granted him the style of HRH and created him Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Queen Elizabeth decreed that he was to have ‘place, pre-eminence and precedence’ next to her on ‘all occasions and in all meetings, except where otherwise provide by Act of Parliament’, even though he was not crowned as her consort. Co-founder of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and infamous for his frequent public gaffes, the Queen considered him her ‘constant strength and guide’. Prince Philip, d 2021, the longest serving royal consort in history; buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The funeral took place under COVID restrictions in place at that time, but was televised worldwide.

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