Daughters of Chivalry: Kelcey Wilson-Lee (1297)

In this thought-provoking episode of Travels Through Time, historian Kelcey Wilson-Lee takes us to the court of the English King Edward I in 1297 to meet his daughters at a dramatic moment in their lives.


King Edward I’s daughters did not conform to the modern stereotype of medieval princesses. They weren’t delicate, wistful girls, passively waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince. Eleanora and her sisters were true Plantagenets. They were headstrong, passionate characters who spent as much time hunting, managing estates and travelling around England and the Continent as they did doing needlework in their chambers.

Their lives reveal the breadth of experience of royal women in the medieval period through the various roles they played. They represented their country and championed the needy. They promoted monastic houses, were brides in strategic alliances, rebellious daughters, landowners, patrons of culture, mothers, wives and most important of all in this story, sisters.

In this episode of Travels Through Time, the historian Kelcey Wilson-Lee takes Violet Moller to meet Eleanora, Joanna, Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth in the year 1297.

Kelcey Wilson-Lee’s Daughters of Chivalry: the forgotten children of Edward I is published by MacMillan

Show notes: 

Scene One: January, 1297, and the royal family has gathered in Ipswich for Elizabeth's wedding to Johan, Count of Holland, after which she is supposed to sail for her new husband’s lands.

Scene Two: July 1297, King Edward I’s court at St Albans. Joanna comes to plead her case after having eloped and secretly remarried a nobody without her father's permission. She makes a dramatic speech that is (very unusually) recorded and is forgiven by her Father.

Scene Three: Christmas 1297, in Ghent where Elizabeth (who eventually went to Holland) is reunited with her sisters who have married into Europe in years before.

Memento: A gold ring presented to Margaret by Edward I at Harwich.


Presenter: Violet Moller

Guest: Kelcey Wilson-Lee

Producer: Maria Nolan

Editorial: John Hillman

Titles: Jon O

Made in partnership with the brilliant photo colourists at Dynamichrome