Medieval Royalty

Medieval Royalty were very important people who had a divine right to rule under the Feudal Medieval system, the only people that were considered to be above Royalty in Medieval times was the Pope/Church and God, and as the Pope was considered to be working for God, this really meant that God was the only person more important than a King in Medieval Times. The main people within a Medieval Royal household consisted of the King, Queen, Prince, Princess and Queen Mother, the King was usually the most important Royalty with the most power, however we can see by looking at history there were also powerful queens some of whom ruled with an iron fist, here we take a deeper look into Medieval royalty and how they ruled over their kingdoms in medieval times.

Medieval King

Medieval Kings King Henry VIII

A medieval kings main goal was to protect his kingdom from enemies and secure his domination of the Kingdom. Medieval kings built castles and introduced the Feudal system with this goal in mind. Read more about the Medieval King >>

Medieval Prince

Prince Edward and his father on the battlefield at Crecy

A medieval prince had to learn the customs and duties that would be his when he was crowned king if he was the eldest son of the king. A medieval prince had to master weaponry, politics and understand political and social issues. Read more about the Medieval Prince >>

Medieval Princess

Medieval Princess

Charity work was very important to a medieval princess and she would also be interested in politics and current affairs. Medieval Princesses were often married of to princes of other important Royal families and had interesting and varied lives. Read more about the Medieval Princess >>

Medieval Queen

Medieval Queens

Medieval queens played an important role in medieval society, however most medieval Queens were not absolute rulers of their kingdoms as that role was dominated by medieval kings in medieval history. Read more about the Medieval Queen >>


Medieval King

The King was the most important person in the royal household, it was his job to protect his land, wealth, and family from people wanting to take it from him from within his own country and foreign invasions.

William the Conqueror *Medieval Royalty *Medieval King

William the Conqueror *Medieval King

Medieval Kings were very powerful and lived in grand structures called castles, they lived in the strongest and best-protected building inside the Castles curtain walls, which was named the Castle Keep.

Medieval Kings Lived in the Castle Keep

Medieval Kings Lived in the Castle Keep

William the Conqueror was crowned the king of England in 1066 on Christmas day after his victory over Anglo Saxon King Harold Godwinson in the battle of Hastings earlier that same year.

Battle of Hastings Medieval Kings

Battle of Hastings

To consolidate his power over England William the Conqueror quickly built a network of Motte and Bailey Castles, this also helped him to expand his rule over more territories.

Motte Bailey Medieval Castle

Motte & Bailey Castle

The Norman Conquest of England brought with it a new system of rule called Feudalism that had been successfully used to control society in the Kingdom of France by the Franks. Under this system, Kings were at the top of the Feudal pyramid and delegated their power from the top down.

Medieval Vassals postion in the Feudal system

Feudalism

Kings owned all the land and granted nobles the use of large tracts of land, in return, the nobles would offer a service to the king usually in the form of providing military services for a set number of days a year (commonly 40 days)

In this arrangement, nobles would ensure that they could provide an army to the King quickly when needed.


Medieval Queen

Some Queens ruled in their own right and had the same power as a medieval king, however, a medieval Queen was of course more commonly the wife of a ruling medieval king.

Medieval Queen *Medieval Royalty

Medieval Queen *Medieval Royalty

Some medieval Queens would have been very involved in every aspect of the running of a Kingdom and in some cases, this may have stretched to arranging battles and even commanding armies and governing councils amongst other things.

Medieval Queen *Medieval Royalty

Medieval Queen *Medieval Royalty

Other medieval queens may have taken less power and have played a more traditional wives role, concerned with bearing children for the King so that there was a successor to the throne, which was obviously a vitally important role as well.

Medieval Royalty *Medieval Queens

Medieval Royalty *Medieval Queens

The Queen was also usually required to show a strong interest in the Church and could have also been responsible for arranging Charitable activities in the Kingdom.

Gothic Architecture

Sometimes a medieval Queen would have to act as regent herself in the king’s absence, for example, if the King was needed to command a battle. This would have meant that the Queen had to step into the King’s shoes as a temporary measure to run the Kingdom

Medieval King and Queen *Medieval Royalty

Medieval King and Queen

A Queen may also have to act as regent in other circumstances such as when the heir to the throne was too young to rule or the King was sick and unable to rule.

Medieval Queen *Medieval Royalty

Medieval Queen


Medieval Prince

A medieval Prince would commonly be the son of a ruling King and Queen and could have been the next in line to the throne if he was the firstborn male in the Royal household, in this respect a firstborn male Prince was always thought of as being the most important people after the King.

The firstborn prince would be raised learning all the skills needed to rule the kingdom and control a government if required. He would also usually be trained in the art of warfare and be a skilled fighter in his own right.

Medieval Prince

Medieval Prince

A medieval Prince may have had to run their own Castles and Estates and this would give them a good grounding in Estate management and lay the foundations for running an entire kingdom.


Medieval Princess

The Medieval Princess was expected to make the Royal dynasty stronger through marriage and as such they were raised expecting to be married off to Princes and Kings of other Royal families, or to the sons of other families that wielded power and influence.

Medieval Princess *Medieval Royalty

Medieval Princess

As such a Medieval Princess would receive a well-rounded education and be taught a wide range of skills such as sewing and embroidery. A princess would be expected to show a strong interest in religion and regularly attend Mass and pray frequently.

Medieval Princess *Medieval Royalty

Medieval Princess *Medieval Royalty

If a Princess became Queen through marriage she would obviously have duties that would be expected of a Queen such as an interest in charity work, bearing children, and overseeing their upbringing and education.

Medieval Queen Mother

A Royal Queen Mother was the Mother of the reigning sovereign in medieval times. The Queen Mother still had various roles which were usually much reduced as she aged, but the Queen mother was an important source of knowledge and gave important advice to the King or Queen.

Royalty Good or Bad Thing?

The Medieval Royal Bloodlines ruled their lands well through a well-organized Feudal structure, they were highly intelligent, ambitious, and ruthless and controlled the population within a class system that they controlled through a network of Nobility and Military.

Without Medieval Royalty, there probably would not have been so many advancements in society and there would probably have been more infighting amongst smaller groups of people within smaller Kingdoms.

However, it has to be said that medieval royalty could be considered to have been greedy and mean-spirited as they did not distribute much of their wealth to the people but spent their time building more structures to enable them to take more control of a country’s wealth and it’s people.