The stories are below aren’t pulled from “Game of Thrones.” Promise.
In the rough-and-tumble setting of medieval England, royal mothers were expected to do far more than just ensure their children, the future monarchs, were healthy and well-educated. She had to wield all her influence and patronage to keep her son in power—and keep her husband from killing him.
Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, royal succession was not fixed. The inheritance rights of young children were often passed over to ensure that an experienced warrior was on the throne. It provided the perfect recipe for royal intrigue, and mothers with sons to defend often faced down tradition—and their own husbands—along the way. Queens were supposed to value their roles as both wives and mothers, but when forced to pick between the two, their children always came first.
Read more from Smithsonian.com.