Izvestiya of Saratov University.

History. International Relations

ISSN 1819-4907 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1913 (Online)

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Boldyreva I. I. The Position of King’s wife in England in the second half of the 10th century: Queen Aelfthryth. Izvestiya of Saratov University. History. International Relations, 2023, vol. 23, iss. 2, pp. 198-206. DOI: 10.18500/1819-4907-2023-23-2-198-206, EDN: UXOQQA

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The Position of King’s wife in England in the second half of the 10th century: Queen Aelfthryth

Boldyreva Irina I., N.N. Burdenko Voronezh State Medical University

The article focuses on the specifics of king’s wife position in England in the second half of the 10th century on the example of queen Aelfthryth. The research is based on the wide range of historical evidence dating back to Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman times. Aelfthryth was the first among Late Saxon queens, who were crowned and anointed. In the reign of her husband and son she enjoyed great power at court and showed high level of public activity. Aelfthryth was very likely involved in the conspiracy that resulted in the death of her stepson Edward the Saint. Her relations with the Church were contradictory. Ideological specificity of Benedictine reform in England provided the opportunity for Aelfthryth to make profit of her status of queen and mother. On the other hand, a number of Anglo-Norman narratives have preserved traces of hostile attitude to her in the monastic environment. The new features in the queen’s position in England in the reign of Edgar the Peaceful established an important political precedent. However, the changes did not affect all king’s wives. During the lifetime of queen mother the other royal women did not enjoy queenly status and stayed away from public affairs.

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