Southwark Cathedral are delighted to host a day of talks focusing on some of the Queens who shaped our history









Five of the country's foremost historians on the Tudor period present four different presentations. The day will conclude with a panel discussion with our speakers, who will debate the day's talks and take questions from the audience.


If you are interested in the Tudor period or women's history then join us to find out about the extraordinary women who refused to be overshadowed by kings, Mary Tudor and her complex relationship with her father King Henry VIII, the thirteen day reign of Lady Jane Grey and find out how, as we near Advent and Christmas, Tudor queens and their court made merriment during the festive season.


The day will conclude with a panel discussion featuring the speakers where the audience can ask questions and discuss what has been spoken about during the talks on the day.


This event is in-person only and we have reduced the capacity to ensure there is adequate space between seating.


Sarah Gristwood


10.30am - Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe


As religion divided sixteenth-century Europe, an extraordinary group of women rose to power. They governed nations while kings fought in foreign lands. They ruled on behalf of nephews, brothers and sons. They negotiated peace between their warring nations. For decades, they ran Europe. Small wonder that it was in this century that the queen became the most powerful piece on the chessboard.


From mother to daughter and mentor to protégée, Sarah Gristwood follows the passage of power from Isabella of Castile and Anne de Beaujeu through Anne Boleyn – the woman who tipped England into religious reform – and on to Elizabeth I and Jeanne d’Albret, heroine of the Protestant Reformation. Unravelling a gripping historical narrative, Gristwood reveals the stories of the queens who had, until now, been overshadowed by kings.


Sarah Gristwood is the author of four previous books of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century history: the Sunday Times bestseller Arbella: England's Lost Queen; Elizabeth and Leicester; Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses; and the widely-translated Game of Queens. A former journalist, contributing to papers such as the Guardian and the Telegraph, she has also written a number of books on twentieth-century subjects. She features frequently at history festivals, and on radio and television discussing the past and present of Britain's monarchy.