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(4 Janv, 2007)
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The Queen

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

The queen then, did not wield any 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, simply the King's consort. That being said, she did have a wide power of protection, a considerable entourage of servants, and possessed certain privileges, for example, the right to a circuit through the land.

All the officers of the household, including what may be called the executive officers of state, were placed under her remit socially. They, one and all, received their linen from the queen, and the Judge of the court, the supreme judicial power, received, on investiture, 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.

Despite the relatively low ranking of ‘foreigners’ in medieval Welsh society, there appear to have been no restrictions placed on the circle within which the king might marry; and, in actual practice, we know that the king did not necessarily marry a Welsh women. Indeed, Madoc’s half-brother Prince Dafydd married Emma of Anjou – sister of King Henry II of England.