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.
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.
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.
Wednesday's Times— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 16, 2018
"Britain to get Bayeux Tapestry"#tomorrowspaperstoday#bbcpapers
(via @hendopolis) pic.twitter.com/Hs03QqgYBU
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.