The Role of Regnant Queens in Shaping Britain’s Monarchy

26. January 2023 18:30

Dr Elena Woodacre

Winston Churchill claimed that Britain has been particular fortunate in terms of its queens and indeed three of them—Elizabeth I, Victoria and Elizabeth II—had exceptionally long reigns which gave their names to important eras of British history, the Victorian and the first and second Elizabethan ages. While Victoria and the two Elizabeths undoubtedly left an enduring mark on the history of the British Isles and beyond, the other regnant queens—the two Marys (Tudor and Stuart), Queen Anne and indeed even Lady Jane Grey—all had a vital role to play in terms of shaping the monarchy’s direction and setting important precedents that had a lasting impact.
This talk will bring the regnant queens of England/Britain together to demonstrate their impact in four major areas: Establishing Female Rule, Defining the (Male) Consort’s Role, Creating Constitutional Monarchy and Developing the Modern Monarchy. Moving from the sixteenth century to the modern day, this talk will demonstrate why and how ruling women have been so vitally important to the development of both British history and the monarchical system itself.

Dr. Elena (Ellie) Woodacre is a Reader in Renaissance History at the University of Winchester. Elena is a specialist in queenship and royal studies and has published extensively in this area including her monographs, The Queens Regnant of Navarre: Succession, Partnership and Politics, 1274-1512 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Queens and Queenship (ARC Humanities Press, 2021) and Joan of Navarre: Infanta, Duchess, Queen, Witch? (Routledge, 2022). She has also edited several collections on queenship and royal studies including A Companion to Global Queenship (ARC Medieval Press, 2018) and The Routledge History of Monarchy (Routledge, 2019). Elena is the organizer of the ‘Kings & Queens’ conference series, founder of the Royal Studies Network (, Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Studies Journal ( and the editor of two book series: Gender and Power in the Premodern World (ARC Humanities Press) and Lives of Royal Women (Routledge).

Please register by January 24 at Registered participants will receive login details on January 25.


Note: By registering and participating in this event, you consent to the recording of your appearance and / or your voice, to be published by the German-British Society in photos, videos and accompanying sound recordings via any media and for any purpose.