For the first time in a special episode, we are entirely outside of Britain, going fully Roman with the general and statesman Sulla. Mr Sulla makes for a fascinating character study - a highly successful general, bon viveur and party animal who is also painted as a brutal dictator who destroyed the Roman Republic. So, what will our final verdict be: Good guy? Bad guy? But most importantly, Rex Factor?
(Apologies that Ali's audio is not so good - forgot to turn on the correct settings and his fan was quite noisy!)
In the second and final episode celebrating our tenth anniversary we read through all of your lovely messages with good wishes, how you found the podcast, exotic places you've listened and favourite memories from the podcast. We also go through all the results of our English Monarchs Twitter Poll to crown England's Greatest Monarch for 2020.
We've also been using our time productively so further episodes will be following in the coming weeks with a special episode on Sulla, a Privy Chamber episode for Privy Councillors and (in the not too distant future) Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Rex Factor is ten years old! To celebrate, we are releasing two podcasts. In this first part, we reminisce about ten years of Rex Factor, looking at each season and some of the major things we've worked on. We also reveal the details of a Twitter tournament we will be running in the following month where we pit all the English monarchs against each other and see whether this will have the same outcome as our original play-offs. PLUS we would like to hear from you - please let us know your favourite memories, episodes, quotes, etc. from Rex Factor as well as any questions you might have about the podcast.
Not discussed in the podcast, but the special episode on Sulla is coming soon and then we will be moving on to Eleanor of Aquitaine - apologies for the delay!
It's nearly 10 years since we reviewed Æthelred the Unready and gave him a score of 0 for Battleyness - not surprising for the king who suffered decades of Viking raids and was kicked off the throne (nearly twice) but have we been too harsh? We speak to Brandon Bender who has written a book about Æthelred's military campaign which suggests he was a far more proactive and capable leader than his reputation suggests. Will we be convinced or will Æthelred remain at the bottom of the pile for Battleyness?
Brandon's book is called 'England's Unlikely Commander: The Military Career of Æthelred the Unready'
We're starting a new, intermittent film review podcast for Privy Councillors where we watch and review films relating to kings and queens. In each episode, we'll go through the film plot (largely for Ali's benefit), then review it for historical accuracy and entertainment. Our first film is The King, starring Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V in a sort-of-adaptation of William Shakespeare. As this is the first one and we've not been able to do our normal podcasting recently, we're making this episode available to all Rex Factor listeners. If you've seen the film then send in your reviews and let us know what you think.
The last of the Normans and the last of the Matilda's, Matilda of Boulogne was Queen Consort to King Stephen through the Anarchy. Stephen's reign was not particularly successful but it would have been far worse had he not had the support of his wife, who played a strong and vital leadership role in his cause. Overshadowed by her namesake and rival, the Empress Matilda, could this be the time for Matilda of Boulogne to shine?
Adeliza was the second consort of Henry I of England with the primary task being to produce a new heir for Henry after the death of his only (legitimate) son in the White Ship Disaster. After two very powerful Norman consorts, Adeliza had a lot to live up to as the years without an heir mount up, Henry would look to his daughter, Matilda, instead and Adeliza would be dragged into the drama of the Anarchy. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman? Or would Adeliza be lost amidst the chaos?
Matilda of Scotland (confusingly originally called Edith) was the daughter of the King of Scots and inheritor of the Anglo-Saxon royal line, which made her an alluring prospect of consort for the Norman king Henry I. Matilda was a highly confident and capable queen who proved very popular with her subjects as well as providing ample opportunity for Rex Facts. But will this be enough to get the Rex Factor?
A global lockdown is not enough to stop Rex Factor! For the first time, we do a full episode via Skype, meaning Ali is in charge of his own recording equipment! After a slightly chaotic first ten minutes, we have an extended Correspondents Corner with lots of messages from listeners and then previews of some of our bonus content with a clip from our most recent Privy Chamber episode (on Matilda of Flanders) and our most recent special episode (Chateau Gaillard). Normal service will resume next time when we review Matilda of Scotland.
We leave the Saxons behind and enter the Norman era. Matilda of Flanders was the first of the Norman consorts, bringing some prestigious French royal genes to the illegitimate William the Conqueror. Matilda was a trusted partner of William in Normandy and enjoyed great status as Queen of England after 1066. Revered for her piety, Matilda also had an independent streak and would clash with William when their eldest son, Robert, rebelled. Who will come out on top? And will Matilda start the new era off with the Rex Factor?