Eleanor of Provence became Queen of England at a young age, marrying King Henry III, but she became a highly influential consort thanks to her Savoyard uncles and her own influence. However, she and Henry would have to face the challenge of Simon de Montfort and the Second Barons War, with Eleanor playing a crucial role both in the build-up and the execution of the war. Will she triumph against the barons? And more importantly, will she do enough to win the Rex Factor?
Apologies for the absence, but we are finally back! Normal service with the consorts will resume shortly but we've got some news: the podcast is moving to Acast (you don't have to do anything, though there will be ads) and the patron program is moving to Patreon - go to www.patreon.com/rexfactor to sign up! Also, we read out lots of your messages and play some clips from bonus content.
We look at the American Revolution from a British perspective - specifically, from the perspective of George III. Vilified as a tyrant in America and the king who lost America in Britain, we assess traditional views of George's role in America and then look at the reality of his involvement from the start of his reign to independence. Was he really a tyrant who attacked American liberties or has he been judged too harshly by history?
In this interview special we talk to Dr Gabby Storey about the Angevin queens - the Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Berengaria of Navarre and Isabella of Angouleme. We reflect on their relationships with their husbands, their sons and each other as well as what they tell us about queenship.
Isabella of Angoulême had the misfortune to be married to King John and is not one of England's more famous queens, and yet she had a remarkable life, with controversial marriages, shifting alliances, rebellions and plenty of scandal. Plenty of personality, but not always in a good way - will she be able to win us over for the Rex Factor?
Berengaria of Navarre is not one of the more famous consorts, overshadowed by her predecessor, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and indeed her husband, Richard the Lionheart. However, Berengaria has her own story that is worth telling: accompanying Richard on the Third Crusade; fighting the English crown for her dower rights and then ruling a French city. A story worth telling, but will it be enough to earn Berengaria the Rex Factor?
Despite having done two main podcast episodes on Eleanor, we still had lots more stuff to talk about for the Privy Chamber that was either just skirted over or not even mentioned at all previously. There's so much to talk about that we didn't have time for all our usual features, so that will all come in the next Privy Chamber episode.
After a separate full-length biography episode, we now review Eleanor of Aquitaine. And there's lots to talk about in every factor: the Crusades; the Great Revolt; threats to both of her sons as Queen Mother. A long and dramatic life that has plenty to talk about, both good and bad, but when it's all done, where will she stand?
Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the most famous names in English history and her life is so long and eventful that we're splitting her episode in two. In this episode, we cover her biography, charting her extraordinary life from her upbringing in Aquitaine to her various queenships, encompassing Crusades, rebellions, imprisonments and high stakes diplomacy. Next time we'll review her factor by factor and decide whether she has the Rex Factor.
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!)