To Queen or Not to Queen, that is the question.

The UK is missing three Queens. Empress Matilda, Lady Jane Gray, and Queen Mary the Second, but wait, I can hear you say a Lady and an Empress are not Queen and who is this Queen Mary II is that bloody Mary? Let me explain.

The Bastard AKA William the Bastard AKA William Duke of Normandy AKA William the Conqueror AKA William I King of England and Duke of Normandy. You know that guy on the tapestry. William the I had four sons and four daughters. All his sons (William II King of England, Robert II Duke of Normandy, Richard of Normandy, and Henry I king of England) were the King of England and Duke of Normandy. Richard died young of a hunting accident in the New Forrest without issue, William II King of England also died of a hunting accident in the New Forrest without issue. There was a fight between the remaining brothers about who was the boss, which ended with the Youngest Son, Henry as King of England and Duke of Normandy and Robert being held captive for life by his younger brother. We assume neither went into a Forrest for the rest of their lives.

Henry, I had two legitimate children William and Matilda. William died young without issue (but not in the new forest). Matilda was married to Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor, which made her Empress Matilda. Henry, I remarried, but the marriage didn’t result in any additional children. So, Henry I gathered his nobles and made them all swear to accept Matilda as the heir to England after his death. The nobles lied because, after his death, they supported Stephen, the son of William I’s daughter Adela. There was a period of war that resulted in Stephen staying King. However, he died shortly after the death of his first son, and they passed the crown to Matilda’s son. He became King while she still lived. So the first English Queen to rule in her own right should have been Matilda I, Queen of England.

Fast forward a few hundred years the Henry VIII the last Henry to rule England; I’m would not be surprised if Henry was taken out of the naming pool for future monarchs. We all know Henry had issues in begetting a male heir (Six Wives and just three kids); after his death came his nine-year-old son Edward VI of England, who died aged fifteen. This caused a great problem in England as all the legitimate heirs were girls, and look at what happened the last time a girl was named the ruler of England (see above paragraph about Matilda). The last official update to the succession list removes Mary and Elizabeth as they were both considered illegitimate. Henry VIII declared their mothers’ marriage invalid, making them illegitimate, but most consider Mary, the legitimate heir. If there is no male heir, it should go to the eldest legitimate daughter; with no legitimate daughters, the title should go to the eldest legitimate sister.

The eldest sister to Henry’s was Margaret, who married the King of Scotland and birthed King James V of Scotland, but both had died before Edward, leaving Margaret’s granddaughter Queen Mary of Scotland and France. The current English nobles in power were protestant and didn’t want a twice over foreign catholic queen. This led to Henry VIII’s youngest sister, Mary Tudor, the Queen of France (Not the same French King who married Mary Queen of Scotts) and later the Duchess of Suffolk. She had two sons and two daughters with the Duke of Suffolk; the two sons died without issue, the eldest daughter had died before Edward VI, but she did have one daughter named Frances Brandon. Frances had three surviving children, all daughters, and the oldest was Lady Jane Grey. She was crowed and ruled as Queen of England for nine days before Queen Mary I, AKA Bloody Mary, with an army behind her, took the throne to become the first Official Queen of England in her own right. We don’t know why Frances was passed over for her daughter, but Jane was married to the Duke of Northumberland’s son, and the Duke was in charge of the Government due to Edward VI’s young age. So we can all guess why.

Queen Mary, I died without issue and her half-sister, Elizabeth, became Queen of England in her own right, but what about the other Mary? Elizabeth was considered illegitimate by many because her parents (Henry VIII and Anne Boylen) were married. At the same time, Katherine of Aragon was still alive, and Henry divorced himself as the new head of the English Church. Basically, Henry said I am both the King and Pope of England; I said the marriage is annulled by the power I gave myself. He did this because the original Pope refused to annul the marriage with Katherine, which isn’t surprising given that Katherine’s nephew was Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles basically had the Pope locked in his basement; it was a very nice basement but still. Another problem for Elizabeth was Henry (AKA worst Dad ever) and her brother (young Eddy) legally declared her illegitimate and removed from the official line of succession. Therefore it goes back to the eldest sister of Henry and her granddaughter Mary Queen of Scots. So why was Elizabeth Queen? Her sister Mary became Queen even after she was legally removed from the line of succession; if it didn’t apply to Mary, then it can’t really apply to Elizabeth. The legal argument of but you let my sister do it, so why can’t I.

The bigger reason England went to Elizabeth and not Mary 2.0 was because Mary was foreign and Catholic. She was Queen of Scotland, more importantly at the time of Mary I’s death; she was the current Queen of France. So if Mary became Mary II Queen of England, then the King of France (her husband) would be King of England. And that shit anti happening, not then, not ever. If the EU told the UK that we would kick France out if you stay in the EU, I’m 90% certain the UK would stay. They have a history. The other reason is religion; we call her Bloody Mary because she had over 300 people burned for heresy in five years. Her dad also burned heretics but not 300 in five years. The nobles of England didn’t want another Catholic Queen burning people and taking their land and titles. Elizebeth didn’t care what your religion was just as long as you acknowledged she was Queen. Better the Queen you know than the Queen you don’t.

And that is why the UK is missing three Queens.

Published by JMP traveler

I’m a world traveler and an amateur photographer, to date, I've visited seven continents and thirty-four countries. Due to bills (and a desire to eat), I am forced to work a mundane nine-to-five job to pay for my true passion. This blog is a way for me to share my crazy creative side, my travel photos with cheeky stories, travel tips, or details on how the photo was taken. Come join me as we travel the world together, without having to leave the house or get out of your PJs.

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