Sunday, May 14, 2017

Medieval Mothers Had to Marry and Murder to Get Their Way

Love this article from the Smithsonian:

In the rough-and-tumble setting of medieval England, royal mothers were expected to do far more than just ensure their children, the future monarchs, were healthy and well-educated. She had to wield all her influence and patronage to keep her son in power—and keep her husband from killing him.

Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, royal succession was not fixed. The inheritance rights of young children were often passed over to ensure that an experienced warrior was on the throne. It provided the perfect recipe for royal intrigue, and mothers with sons to defend often faced down tradition—and their own husbands—along the way. Queens were supposed to value their roles as both wives and mothers, but when forced to pick between the two, their children always came first.

By the 13th century, an orderly law of succession began to take shape in England. These days, English royals must fend off the paparazzi instead of Vikings. What remains the same for royalty is the experience of parenting in the public eye—one that’s always trained on mothers of children who will wear the crown.

read entire article here @ the Smithsonian

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