It's fair to say that we don't know quite as much about Æthelred the Unready's first consort, Ælfgifu of York, as we do about his mother (Ælfthryth) nor indeed his second consort (Emma of Normandy). We pick through what we can find about her and consider why there isn't more to go on.
Ælfthryth was Edgar the Peaceable's third consort but England's first crowned and anointed queen. By building alliances in the church, she was able to raise the office of queenship higher than anything enjoyed by her predecessors and was one of the most influential figures at court. However, she would still face a battle to get her son on the throne, not least from everyone's favourite (and seemingly indestructible) archbishop, Dunstan. Could she fend off the patron saint of fun sponges and win the Rex Factor?
It's two episodes in one this time as we review the first two of Edgar the Peaceable's consorts. Very little is known about his first consort, Æthelflæd Candida/Eneda, so most of the episode is about Wulfthryth of Wilton, a source of much controversy because she was potentially a nun (or at least intended to become one!) As such, we take an in-depth look at the real history behind 'sex with nuns'.
Ælfgifu was part of one of the most (in)famous moments of Rex Factor scandal from our first series, but does she deserve her scandalous reputation or has Dunstan been besmirching her reputation? We find out who she was, what she was doing with King Eadwig and why Dunstan didn't like her.
Æthelflæd of Damerham was (briefly) the second consort of Edmund I and a wealthy heiress in her own right. We have a deeper look into some of the rights and laws for Anglo-Saxon women and get to hear Æthelflæd's voice in the form of her own will.