Helen Castor examines why Matilda's bid for the throne failed and explores Eleanor of Aquitaine.
More than 800 years ago, Matilda came within a hair's breadth of being the first woman to be crowned queen of England in her own right. Historian Helen Castor explores how Matilda reached this point, and why her bid for the throne ultimately failed. Her daughter-in-law Eleanor of Aquitaine was an equally formidable woman. Despite being remembered as the queen of courtly love, in reality, during her long life she divorced one king and married another, only to lead a rebellion against him. She finally achieved the power she craved in her seventies.