Introduction: premodern queenship and diplomacy

Wilkinson, Louise J. and Wolfson, Sara J. (2021). Introduction: premodern queenship and diplomacy. Women's History Review, 30(5) pp. 713–722.



Queens, be they consorts, dowagers or regents, often played pivotal roles in the lives of medieval and early modern kingdoms. As women who often married across geographical, political and, sometimes, religious borders, they were ideally placed to serve as diplomats and ambassadors, whether directly as agents or indirectly as transmitters of cultural practices, values and ideas. This introduction celebrates the position which queens occupied at the heart of international and transnational affairs in the premodern era. It argues that queens were figures who enjoyed meaningful public authority. Their ceremonial actions were imbued with significance, and their deliberate and considered interventions in court politics, and in the wider affairs of their marital and natal families’ kingdoms placed them on the international stage and at the heart of European monarchy. This introduction also offers an overview of the articles within this special issue and their contribution to recent historiographical debates on queenship and the nature of pre-modern diplomacy.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions