Scottish queens dowager
|Reference style||Her Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
Queen mother is defined as "a queen dowager who is the mother of the reigning sovereign". The term has been used in Scotland and England since at least 1577 and Samuel Pepys refers to Charles II's mother Henrietta Maria as the "Queene Mother". Further, she was described as the Queen Mother in early editions of the Book of Common Prayer and subsequent queen mothers were also so described in later editions.
A queen mother is therefore a person satisfying the following criteria:
- She is the mother of the current monarch.
- She has been queen consort.
- The monarch, if a male, is married; if he is not, his mother retains her title of queen. (This is analogous to the mother of a peer, who is called a dowager if the peer is married but not otherwise.)
Contrary to myth, queen mother does not mean mother of the Queen and applies irrespective of whether the monarch is male or female.
List of queen mothers
Following is a list of women who, on the above definition, were entitled to be known as queen mother at some point in their lives.
Following is a list of wives and mothers of Scottish monarchs, with an explanation of why each was or was not a queen mother.
House of Dunkeld
There were two clear queen mothers during the period of the House of Dunkeld.
- Bethóc was mother of Duncan I of Scotland but was never a queen. Her husband Crínán of Dunkeld never became king.
- Suthen was the legendary wife of Duncan I of Scotland and mother of Malcolm III of Scotland and Donald III of Scotland.
- 1057–? Gruoch ingen Boite was the wife of Macbeth of Scotland and mother of Lulach of Scotland, the stepson of Macbeth, being the son of her previous marriage.
- Ingibiorg Finnsdottir was wife of Malcolm III and mother to Duncan II of Scotland, but predeceased her husband in 1069.
- Margaret of Wessex was wife of Malcolm III and mother to Edgar of Scotland, Alexander I of Scotland, and David I of Scotland; and stepmother of Duncan II, but she died before her sons' ascension to the throne. Although she might be considered a Queen (step)mother.
- Yolande de Dreux was second wife of Alexander III. She outlived her husband, dying in 1330, but they had no children by their marriage.
- Ada de Warenne was mother to both Malcolm IV of Scotland and William I of Scotland, but her husband predeceased her in 1152.
- 1214–1234 Ermengarde de Beaumont, wife of William I, mother to Alexander II of Scotland.
- 1249–1285 Marie de Coucy, wife of Alexander II, mother to Alexander III of Scotland.
House of Fairhair (disputed)
- Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway mother of the disputed Margaret, Maid of Norway. She died before her daughter's disputed reign.
House of Balliol
- Isabella de Warenne wife of John I, mother of Edward Balliol, the Scottish pretender. She died before her husband's accession in 1292.
House of Bruce
- Marjorie of Carrick, wife of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale mother of Robert I of Scotland. She died long before her son ascended the throne.
- Elizabeth de Burgh, second wife of Robert I and mother of David II of Scotland died long before her son ascended the throne.
- Margaret Drummond was the second wife of David II. They were divorced in 1369 but this was reversed by the Pope's intervenction. She outlived her husband, dying in 1375, but they had no children by their marriage.
House of Stewart
There was four queen mother during the period of the House of Stewart.
- Elizabeth Mure was the first wife of Robert II and mother of Robert III of Scotland but was never queen.
- Anabella Drummond was wife of Robert III and mother of James I of Scotland but was never queen. She predeceased her husband.
- Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III and mother of James IV of Scotland died long before her son ascended the throne.
House of Stuart
There were three queen mothers during the period of the House of Stewart:
- Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI and mother of Charles I of England and Scotland died long before her son ascended the throne.
- 1567–1587 Henrietta Maria of France, wife of Charles I, mother to Charles II of England and Scotland and James VII and II. Serve as queen mother in her elder son's reign.
- Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II. She outlived her husband, dying in 1718, but they had no children by their marriage.
- Anne Hyde was first wife of James II and mother to both Mary II and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, but died in 1671. James did not become king until 1685.
- Mary of Modena, wife of James VII mother of the Jacobite pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart. She would then be the Jacobite Queen mother from 1701-1718.
- Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange was daughter of Charles I and mother of William II of Scotland. But she was never queen of England and died in 1660. William did not become king until 1689.
- Oxford English Dictionary
- Webster's Third New International Dictionary.