Skip to main content

The great work of England's first queen

The Bayeux Tapestry could be heading for England. The famous telling of the Conquest of England by a certain king called William in 1066 is, according to The Times and the BBC, on its way to the country he claimed for a little holiday. It would give millions the chance to see this amazing historic source. And put on display the most fabulous legend surrounding England's first post conquest queen.

Embed from Getty Images

For the story goes that Matilda, Queen of the Conqueror helped to create this magnificent testament to her husband's greatest and most lasting achievement. William might have won himself a crown and shaped his conquered nation in his own image but legend has it that it was Matilda who recorded it for posterity. Some historians even went so far as to describe the queen as sitting around sewing the epic work herself with her ladies in waiting. In French, it is sometimes called La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde.

Embed from Getty Images 
Putting aside the idea of Matilda sewing a visual record of her husband battling his way to a throne and Harold II getting an arrow in the eye, the general assumption was always that the first queen of post conquest England had commissioned the great work to leave a lasting legacy of William's win. She was an integral part of his court and a major piece in the jigsaw that turned him from Duke of Normandy to King of England. Her royal blood had already given him kudos in the eyes of many who had laughed (behind their hands, William was scary) at the fact he was the illegitimate son of Robert of Normandy and a tanner's daughter. Matilda was descended from the Kings of France and she liked to let everyone know it. She'd also bought her husband the flagship for his invasion of England. William wouldn't have been king without Matilda so she had a vested interest in recording the Conqeust for history.

Except later historians think she most likely didn't commission the tapestry. They attribute its creation to William's half brother, Odo, who also happened to be Bishop of Bayeux. Whatever its origins, it is a spectular sight. Metres of intricate needlework spell out the story of the battle that changed England forever in the way the winners wanted it told. It is a priceless piece of art and an amazing historical source. Experts are now believed to be checking whether it could be transferred to England for a short stay and Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce the exciting arrival when he visits London on Thursday. The legendary work attributed to a Queen of England could be about to make history again.


Popular posts from this blog

Princess Eugenie in Harper's Bazaar

Princess Eugenie of York with Laura Brown of Harper's Bazaar - the royal features in the September edition  (photo Laura Brown Instagram)
Another month, another glossy mag with a princess as its star. After Kate did Vogue and Mary did Vogue (again), this time round it's Eugenie doing Harper's Bazaar. The seventh in line to the throne features in the US September issue of the magazine, looking very glamourous while she's at it.

The House of Windsor at 100: daughters of the Crown

On July 17th 1917, George V issued a royal proclamation changing the name of his royal house and family to Windsor. It was the beginning of dynasty that would set records and change the concept of modern monarchy. And it's a house built on and by women. We've already met some of them when remembering the consorts, now we turn to the royal daughters. Four women have been born to the monarchs of the House of Windsor, all of them hugely important. As we mark the centenary of this special dynasty, here are the daughters of those who have worn the Crown.

The Queen's January

January is always a low key month for the Queen. She stays at Sandringham throughout the month and we mostly get to see her as she heads out to church. But while the public appearances have been as restrained as usual, Elizabeth II has found herself hovering close to the headlines in what's proved to be a busy month for the monarch.