Hi this is my first thread in this section. I confess to not being as knowledgeable as most of you here but I read the threads with interest and they have certainly opened my eyes to a few things.
Anyway onto my thread... I am watching the Young Victoria film tonight about Queen Victoria. It has got me thinking that in the last 200 years Britain has been ruled by a female for well over half of that time. Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth seem (to my knowledge) to be well respected and thought to be capable monarchs. In the case of Queen Elizabeth, well liked by the populace also. I don't get the feeling that the nation is 'bored' with a queen and champing at the bit to have a king back or that she is seen as a second rate monarch because she is female.
So my question is this; why has this not had more of an impact on how women are placed in British society?
Yes - good point. Many of the members of her personal Household would have been women (Ladies of the Bedchamber), who were close confidantes and probably informal advisors, like Kat Ashley, Blanche Parry, Catherine Knollys and Catherine Howard (these last two were cousins from the Boleyn side).
I dunno if that's true about Roger (not Robert - I think you're thinking of Dudley?) Ascham. He wasn't her tutor for terribly long. I like to think Kat Ashley had a lot to do with it.
I know that for male monarchs, the gentlemen of the bedchamber were meant to have a lot of influence, but Elizabeth's ladies of the bedchamber never seem to be studied in that way - they're seen as 'informal advisers' but were they, really? I think everyone would have known how much influence that position had.
I do also wonder how accurate our ideas about education are. There is an awful lot of guff talked about how badly-educated most women were back then, IMO.
What about Margaret of Anjou? She was Henry VI's queen but she effectively ruled as monarch for parts of his reign because he went mad.
I think there's a certain mysticism about the blood royal, and this was very prevalent in the Middle Ages, that really did mean 'even a woman of the blood royal was better than a male of dodgy descent'. Of course, a woman's main claim to the throne was the ability to transmit the blood line to the next generation - and She Wolves has a lot to say about how queens like Margaret of Anjou and Isabella were more 'acceptable' combatants when defending the rights of their sons than Matilda was defending her own right to inherit. (We have a thread running about She Wolves in the History Club at the moment).
I suspect it has helped our Queen to be acceptable to certain parts of the population that she has done the very traditional marriage-and-children thing and it is well-known that Prince P is regarded as the head of the family, I think in the style of Prince Albert.