At the time of writing a season of celebrations is underway for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking her 70 years as reign as monarch of the UK and Commonwealth. Such a long reign is historically unprecedented and means that the overwhelming majority of people living in countries where she serves as head of state have no living memory of the reign of another monarch. In turn this also means that few have any memory of the reign of a king; a woman as head of state in these realms feels perfectly normal - even 'default' - and we have grown up talking of the history of "kings and queens" as if the words and roles have always carried equal weight. Historically this was not the case. Centuries ago, that which now goes without saying -that a woman could rule, competently and successfully in her own right - was a truly revolutionary idea. It only became accepted as the result of the examples set by a series of remarkable female rulers in Britain and the twists of fate which crowned them and tested them.
Though certainly not the first female ruler on these islands, a disproportionate debt is owed to one remarkable lady in particular, who lived eleven centuries ago. Emerging from an age and culture in which female leadership was largely unthinkable and all but unprecedented, she took power only reluctantly, and ruled with such brilliance that any doubt in female leadership would have been banished. But in so doing, she established a dangerous precedent, leading men to try, and thankfully, fail, to erase her from history....
Exploring the history, archaeology and cultures of the "Anglo-Saxon Period" (encompassing the Migration and Viking Ages).