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Old 01-20-2013, 07:57 PM
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Who was the First English Queen?

I was reading something the other day about the British Monarchy and about the History of it Monarchs. There have been very few Queens in history and a couple of them have been disrupted so. That got me wondering about who was the first 'Official' Female Queen Monarch of England? (Now the United Kingdom), Were there 6 or 8 Queens? I am asking because I have heard different things. The most common thing that I have heard or have read is that there have been Six English Queens throughout it 1000 Years history ( Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne, Victoria and now Elizabeth II), Other times on occasions I have heard 7 when Lady Jane Grey is added who was queen for only 9 Days and her Reign is often disputed. Now what about Matilda who rein from 7 April 1141 – 1 November 1141? although she was called an Empress and only ruled for five Months.

So was Mary I was the First Queen of England? Were there Six or Seven Reigning Queens of England?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:20 PM
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It's debatable of course, but I'd say Mary I was the first true Queen Regent. Thank goodness she was closely followed by Elizabeth I.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:26 PM
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I've wondered that myself. Should Matilda be considered a real Queen?
I agree with HRHHermione, I myself consider Mary to be the first true Queen Regent.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:43 PM
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Matilda should have been Queen but the English Barons would not accept a woman and decided on Stephen of Blois.

Matilda was the daughter of Henry I (who had just died); Stephen the grandson of William the Conqueror through Adela, William I's daughter.

Because the title was disputed, it has never been considered valid. English history goes from Henry I straight to Stephen.

Here is the Wiki page if you are interested
Stephen, King of England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So Mary I was the first true Queen IMO.

Lady Jane Grey was the victim of the politics arising from the death of Edward VI. Not considered by many to be a true Queen.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:45 PM
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The first undisputed Queen Regnant of England was Mary I, eldest daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

Before Mary, there had been two other Queens Regnant - Empress Matilda and Lady Jane Grey. However, their reigns are disputed. Matilda was never crowned (which admittedly isn't necessary to become a Queen) and her Throne was pretty much immediately usurped by her cousin, Stephan. While by strict primogeniture rules she should have indeed been England's first Queen Regnant, she never reigned or ruled. Lady Jane Grey was Queen for less than two weeks; her claims to the Throne were not legal and weren't recognised by anyone, be it the people, the nobility or the clergy.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:49 PM
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The first undisputed Queen Regnant of England was Mary I, eldest daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

Before Mary, there had been two other Queens Regnant - Empress Matilda and Lady Jane Grey. However, their reigns are disputed. Matilda was never crowned (which admittedly isn't necessary to become a Queen) and her Throne was pretty much immediately usurped by her cousin, Stephan. While by strict primogeniture rules she should have indeed been England's first Queen Regnant, she never reigned or ruled. Lady Jane Grey was Queen for less than two weeks; her claims to the Throne were not legal and weren't recognised by anyone, be it the people, the nobility or the clergy.
So the first 'Crowned Queen' was Mary I?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:50 PM
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Yes, I'd have to throw my hat in with Mary Tudor as the first Queen Regnant. She had a controversial life because of the stain of bastardy due to Henry VIII's rampant desire for a male heir, but was considered his heir prior to his declaration of an invalid marriage to Katherine of Aragon. After her half-brother Edward VI died and Jane Grey was denounced as the nine-day queen, she was the undisputed monarch and was crowned as such.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:52 PM
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So the first 'Crowned Queen' was Mary I?
The first Queen Regnant of England (disputed or undisputed) to have been crowned was indeed Mary I.
Her coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 1 October 1553 - about 4 months after her accession to the Throne.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:55 PM
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Yes, I'd have to throw my hat in with Mary Tudor as the first Queen Regnant. She had a controversial life because of the stain of bastardy due to Henry VIII's rampant desire for a male heir, but was considered his heir prior to that. After her half-brother Edward VI died and Jane Grey was denounced as the nine-day queen, she was the undisputed monarch and was crowned as such.
You know, I think very few Monarchs had the same goodwill and support at the time of their accession as Mary. Despite her being a Catholic and a woman, people and nobility were at first firmly on her side; her tragic early life and loss of beloved mother, her effective imprisonment by her own father - everything made people want to support, take care of her. Had she been wiser, her reign (however short) could have been remembered as a glorious one. Or, alternatively, if she had reigned for perhaps a decade longer and succeeded in restoring the Catholic Church, would she not be remembered as the Saint Queen or something to the effect?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:55 PM
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So the first 'Crowned Queen' was Mary I?
Yes - She was crowned on October 1 1553 at Westminster Abbey. MAry is considered the first Queen Regnant.

Matilda's claim was disputed, and she was never crowned.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:57 PM
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You know, I think very few Monarchs had the same goodwill and support at the time of their accession as Mary. Despite her being a Catholic and a woman, people and nobility were at first firmly on her side; her tragic early life and loss of beloved mother, her effective imprisonment by her own father - everything made people want to support, take care of her. Had she been wiser, her reign (however short) could have been remembered as a glorious one. Or, alternatively, if she had reigned for perhaps a decade longer and succeeded in restoring the Catholic Church, would she not be remembered as the Saint Queen or something to the effect?
Who would have succeeded her and her Catholic throne? Elizabeth as a Catholic?
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:00 PM
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You know, I think very few Monarchs had the same goodwill and support at the time of their accession as Mary. Despite her being a Catholic and a woman, people and nobility were at first firmly on her side; her tragic early life and loss of beloved mother, her effective imprisonment by her own father - everything made people want to support, take care of her. Had she been wiser, her reign (however short) could have been remembered as a glorious one. Or, alternatively, if she had reigned for perhaps a decade longer and succeeded in restoring the Catholic Church, would she not be remembered as the Saint Queen or something to the effect?
She started her reign so well with that vast support, but how unfortunate it ended with the moniker "Bloody Mary" with her tragic and drastic attempts to bring the Catholic Church back to England. And marrying King Philip of Spain, a Catholic ruler himself, didn't win her any supporters either for fear that Catholic Spain would dominate rule of England. The English people breathed a collective sigh of relief by the time Protestant Elizabeth inherited the throne.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:00 PM
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Who would have succeeded her and her Catholic throne? Elizabeth as a Catholic?
Why not? Elizabeth was not nearly as religiously zealous as her brother; if England became a Catholic country again, Elizabeth would have adapted. And even if she didn't, I'm pretty certain others in the line of succession (descendants of Mary, Queen of France) would not have missed the opportunity. After all, Henry IV of France once said "Paris vaut bien une messe" (Paris is well worth a Mass): I daresay England is worth one too.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:01 PM
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Thank everybody for your Input! So in truth there were only Six Queens who were Crowned (Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne ,Victoria and Elizabeth II) while the other two (Matilda and Lady Jane) were never crowned and are disputed. So Mary I was the first Queen. That clears it up.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:02 PM
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I agree -ambivalent in terms of religion.

Then where would it have gone? Because I don't believe a foreign (french or spanish) monarch would have been acceptable.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:10 PM
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Thank everybody for your Input! So in truth there were only Six Queens who were Crowned (Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne ,Victoria and Elizabeth II) while the other two (Matilda and Lady Jane) were never crowned and are disputed. So Mary I was the first Queen. That clears it up.
That's exactly right. Six undisputed Queens and two disputed ones.

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I agree -ambivalent in terms of religion.

Then where would it have gone? Because I don't believe a foreign (french or spanish) monarch would have been acceptable.
No need for a foreign Monarch. Henry VIII established the Line of Succession as the following:
Edward is descendants -> Mary and her descendants - Elizabeth and her descendants -> the descendants of Mary, Queen of France (Henry's younger sister).

All three of Henry's children died childless so Mary Tudor's descendants were next in the succession line - and they were very much English. Mary's children were not through her first marriage to the King of France (that union was childless) but through her second marriage to an Englishman, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Their two children to have issue were Frances (mother of the Grey sisters, including Lady Jane Grey) and Eleanor. Even assuming all Grey sisters and their descendants were disqualified for whatever reasons (as did indeed happen during Elizabeth I's reign), the descendants of Eleanor Clifford were still there. Incidentally, among those descendants was Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven who was, under Henry VIII's will, the real heir to the English Throne upon the death of Elizabeth I. Strictly speaking, James VI had no legal rights to the Throne of England; it's just that his claim was not disputed.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:30 PM
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James' claim came was a better blood claim. Henry had moved his older sister's line below that of the younger sister. James came from the older sister's line - and thus was a better blood claim.

The question really is 'could a monarch set a claim by his will and his will alone - over blood' and the answer was then, as is now, no.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:32 PM
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I regard Matilda as Queen for those nine months. She was the only surviving child of Henry I and her son was Henry II. Stephen had no right to be king. Matilda should have been Queen from 1135. The Normans just couldn't handle the idea of a woman in charge.

If Richard I is regarded as having been King for 10 years despite having only spent a few months of that time in England and not having the slightest interest in being King, surely Matilda can be regarded as having been Queen.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:39 PM
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Matilda can't be considered Queen as the people didn't recognise her. Stephen was an annoited King so for her to be Queen she needed to remove him and commit regicide.

Had she been able to get the throne before Stephen's coronation maybe, but once he was annoited as King - no way - the only way to remove an annoited King is via regicide. Even the church recognised that an annoited King was something that was hard to overturn.

As for Richard - sure he was one of England's worst ever kings - he simply saw the country as one to be used to gain money from - he was however annoited and crowned.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:41 PM
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James' claim came was a better blood claim. Henry had moved his older sister's line below that of the younger sister. James came from the older sister's line - and thus was a better blood claim.

The question really is 'could a monarch set a claim by his will and his will alone - over blood' and the answer was then, as is now, no.
The answer is very much yes.
Henry VIII didn't set the claim by his will alone - he reinforced it by an Act of Parliament. If Acts of Parliament were inferior to blood proximity then Elizabeth II would not have been Queen today since; the Hanoverian claim to the Throne was based on the Act of Settlement, not blood proximity. There were 50+ people with better blood claims, yet once an Act of Parliament was passed, Sophia's claim became indisputable (apart from the Stuarts, and even that for two generations only).
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