The Queen

An axiom of Welsh constitutional practice was the lack of a Queen Regnant. This might be considered odd, given that the institution of a Queen Regnant was established among other tribes of ancient Britons such as the Brigantes and the Iceni (Boudicca being the most famous example). Such a possibility it seems, never occurred to the Welsh lawyers and throughout the long history of the ancient Welsh there was no instance of a ruling queen.

The queen wielded no official political power, had no constitutional position nor any authority in matters of State, except that which she might be able to exercise through her personal influence upon the king; she was in effect, the King’s consort. She did however have a wide power of protection, a considerable entourage of servants, and possessed certain privileges, such as the right to take a circuit through the land.

All the officers of the household, including the executive officers of state, were placed under her remit socially. They received their linen from the queen, and the Judge of the court received his insignia of office – a gold ring – from the queen. In addition, the queen had her own privy purse, and in a nod to the degree of personal freedom enjoyed at the time by all women in Wales, one-third of the income derived by the king from his personal land went to the queen for her separate use.

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  1. John Dee used Llwyd’s manuscript when he submitted the treatise “Title Royal” to Queen Elizabeth in 1580, which stated that “The Lord Madoc, sonne to Owen Gwynned, Prince of Gwynedd, led a Colonie and inhabited in Terra Florida or thereabouts” in 1170. Thomas Herbert popularised the stories told by Dee and Powel, adding more detail from sources unknown, suggesting that Madoc may have landed in Canada, Florida, or even Mexico, and reporting that Mexican sources stated that they used currachs .

    1. Interesting; thanks Marcus. I’ve read the Mexico theory before and indeed the third book in the Madoc series does see my characters land further south. All the best. Dai

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