Featuring medieval queens, including Queen Berengeria, Queen Eleanor, Queen Isabella and more.

Mini-Biographies of Medieval Queens


Anne of Bohemia, queen of England

One of England's least-known queens, who married one of its most infamous kings, was known as "Good Queen Anne." One might be forgiven for thinking she earned the epithet because of the stark contrast of her character with that of her husband, who was far from good....Read More

Berengaria of Navarre, queen of England
From obscure Basque princess to queen of England was a long leap for Berengaria, daughter of King Sancho the Wise of Navarre. And not only queen of England, but wife of the most famous warrior of the age, Richard the Lionheart....Read More

Constance of Sicily, queen of Germany
Constance de Hauteville was a royal personage many times over: a queen and the daughter, wife, cousin, aunt and mother of kings. Yet not until her fortieth year did she assert herself in a truly regal manner...Read More

Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen of (1) France, (2) England
She was beautiful, highborn, powerful, tireless, intelligent, ambitious. For eighty years Eleanor occupied center stage of medieval Europe...Read More

Eleanor of Castile, queen of England
Eleanor of Castile, who married King Edward I of England, was never content to play the part of a passive queen. For thirty-six years she was an active queen-consort to her equally strong-minded husband...Read More

Eleanor of Provence, queen of England
Strong-willed, ambitious and practical, she played a major role in ruling the kingdom during the volatile thirteenth century. So why is Eleanor of Provence so little remembered in the roster of medieval queens?...Read More

Ingeborg of Denmark, queen of France
A marriage not of her wishing, a husband who repudiated her, a divorce she did not ask for and a lifelong determination to take her position as true wife and queen: such was the tortured tale of Ingeborg of Denmark...Read More

Isabella of Angouleme, queen of England
At fourteen already a beauty, Isabella, daughter of the Count of Angouleme, was betrothed to Hugh IX de Lusignan, a powerful French noble. But in a last-minute switch that was probably engineered jointly by her parents and King John of England, she was wed to John instead. She was persuaded that it was far more exciting to be a queen than a countess....Read More

Isabella of Castile, queen of Castile and Aragon
As heiress to the throne of Castile Isabella had her pick of royal suitors. In 1469 she chose Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Aragon. Thus began the thirty-five year joint rule of a unified Spain by the Catholic Monarchs...Read More

Joanna of England, queen of Sicily
Joanna was born in 1165 into the tempestuous, volatile family of King Henry II of England and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. During her short lifetime, she encountered love, happiness and adventure; suffered loss and rejection; and finally found peace....Read More

Margaret of Scotland, queen of Scotland
Margaret of Scotland—beautiful, strong-willed and devout—was descended from England's early Saxon kings, progenitor of a long line of Scottish kings and an influential queen in her own right...Read More

Matilda, de facto queen of England
"Lady of the English" was the closest Matilda came to being formally recognized as Queen of England -- a title she would have received if the English barons had kept to their oath to recognize her as heir to her father, Henry I....Read More

Melisende of Jerusalem, queen of Jerusalem
Independent, principled, a firm ruler, Melisende reigned over Jerusalem for twenty-two tempestuous years. She was one of the rare medieval queens who were true rulers, "queens regnant," not figureheads willing to occupy the back corridors of power....Read More

Urraca of Leon and Castile, queen of Leon and Castile
She was one of only two medieval Spanish queens regnant—queens in their own right, not by marriage. Though eclipsed in history and legend by her distant descendant Isabella of Castile, who reigned three centuries later, Urraca dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula for 17 years. Powerful and power-hungry, she called herself Empress of All the Spains....Read More


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