Aethelflaed (c. 870s-ruled 911-918)]
Called “Lady of the Mercians,”[i] Aethelflaed was the daughter of Alfred the Great and sister of Edward the Elder who ruled in Wessex. Her role was to bring about peace to a troubled area. Her familial links bolstered support of her powerful claims to rulership as regnant widow of Aethelred of Mercia. Building numerous forts to defend her people, she battled the Vikings with her brother. She brilliantly captured Derby, a city taken by the Danes, in 917. Aethelflaed was described two hundred years later in glowing terms: “Some call her not only lady, or queen, but even king…worthy of a man’s name…more illustrious than Caesar.”[ii]
[i] Theresa Earenfight, Queenship in Medieval Europe (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 106.