Royal Women and Architectural Patronage: The Queen's House before Queen's House: Margaret of Anjou and Greenwich Palace, 1447 -1453
Play • 36 min

This month we talk to Dr Rachel Delman about her Royal Studies Journal prize winning article and her wider work on royal women and architectural patronage.

Almost two hundred years before Inigo Jones completed the Queen’s House for Henrietta Maria at Greenwich, another French-born queen consort of England had established the first queenly household there. In 1447, Margaret of Anjou acquired the riverside residence of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, on what is now the site of the Old Royal Naval College. Over the next five years, the Queen commissioned a substantial programme of building works at the site, which transformed the existing manor house into a royal palace. Margaret’s reputation and exercise of power have been widely discussed, yet little consideration has been given to her building activities, and their broader implications for our understanding of her gender role as consort. Through its examination of the location, layout, and design of Margaret’s palace, this article sheds new light on the ways in which the Queen deployed the built environment to articulate her power and status. More broadly, it contributes to scholarship on royal women’s patronage and curation of domestic space, and that concerning the role of queens as agents of cultural transfer. 

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