I admit it, I am totally a (historical) royals geek. Of course, I understand that royalty are just people, some of whom aren’t very interesting or nice. But especially when I was younger, I read numerous “Queens of England” books and biographies of various queens. I always think about doing social media theme days with images of different queens, then get disappointed when I realize that there aren’t enough movies/TV series to make it worthwhile. So instead, I’m compiling a bunch of the lesser known/depicted queens into a series of three posts, focusing on the medieval era, then the Renaissance through the 19th century, and finally the 20th century.
BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT, I am consciously skipping these people who are worthy of (or already have) their own posts:
- Eleanor of Aquitaine
- Elizabeth Woodville
- Anne Neville
- Elizabeth of York
- Catherine of Aragon
- Anne Boleyn
- Jane Seymour
- Anne of Cleves
- Catherine Howard
- Catherine Parr
- Henrietta Maria
- Jane Grey
- Mary I
- Elizabeth I
- Catherine of Braganza
- Mary of Modena
- Elizabeth II
I’m mostly working with Wikipedia data here, so if you know of a movie or TV series that has included any of English/British queens, please feel free to add it in the comments! If they’re not listed here, it’s because I can’t find any onscreen portrayals. Also, I don’t wanna hear any bitching about the term “lesser.” I mean “less frequently depicted.” Breathe.
Here’s my post about medieval English queens. Onwards!
Anne of Denmark (1589-1618)
Daughter of Frederick II of Denmark, she married James VI of Scotland and I of England. She was involved in political factionalism in the Scottish court, then turned her attention to patronage of the arts.
Mary II of England (1689-94)
Daughter of the future King James II & VII. She married William of Orange and lived in the Netherlands, but when her father was deposed over his conversion to Catholicism in the “Glorious Revolution,” Mary and her husband William were invited to become rulers. Significantly, Mary was queen in her own right, although she ceded most of her power to her husband.
Queen Anne (1702-07)
Daughter of James II & VII, after her older sister Mary II died childless and after the death of King William, Anne succeeded to the throne. She married Prince George of Denmark and famously had SEVENTEEN pregnancies but no surviving children. Anne supported the moderate/Anglican Tories over the increasingly powerful Whig party.
She was played by Anna Kallina in The Grinning Face (1921), but no pics.
She was played by Elizabeth Spriggs (aka Mrs. Jennings in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility) in Wren: The Man Who Built Britain (2004), but I am sadly photo-less.
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1761-1818)
Daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, she married George III. She was Queen of Great Britain and of Ireland separately, then from the union of the two in 1801 she was combined queen of both. She was also the Electress of Hanover, then later the queen consort of the same. She was a patron of the arts and very interested in botany.
Caroline of Brunswick (1820-21)
Daughter of the Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, she married the Prince of Wales despite Prinny already having married secretly. The two famously didn’t get along, although they managed one child. Caroline soon lived separately, then eventually things got so bad she left England for Italy. George came to the throne as George IV and tried to divorce her, so Caroline returned to Britain where she was hugely popular. The divorce fell apart, George banned her from the coronation, and then suddenly Caroline fell ill and died in London.
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (1830-37)
Daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, she married the future William IV as part of the race to succeed George IV. Adelaide was known for her piety and charity. Despite a number of pregnancies, the couple was childless, so Princess (later Queen) Victoria was her husband’s heir.
She was also played by Delena Kidd in Victoria & Albert (2001), but I can’t find pics.
Who’s your favorite on-screen English/British queen from these centuries?