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One of the most influential and formidable medieval Queens of England was Matilda of Flanders, the wife of William the Conqueror.
Flanders was a principality north of France, roughly where Belgium is now. Matilda’s father was Count Baldwin V and her mother was Adela, the daughter of Robert II “The Pious”, King of France. Her great-great-great-great grandfather on her father’s side had married Elftrude, the daughter of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (England). She could boast of being very high born indeed.
While no one is sure of the exact date of Matilda’s birth, the best guess is in the year 1031. Flanders was a primitive area compared to Normandy but under the rule of Matilda’s father, things were beginning to improve, mostly due to trade and textiles. He amassed some wealth so Matilda probably lived in some comfort. Her mother was highly educated and made sure that…
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