Who Was Queen Emma?

Most visitors to The Kings and Scribes Exhibition at Winchester Cathedral have never heard of Queen Emma. I had also not heard of her until becoming an Exhibition Steward.

Queen Emma was born in Normandy in 984 and passed away in Winchester, on March 6th, 1052. She was the Great Aunt of William the Conqueror of Normandy. (1028 – 1087).

The Battle of Hasting in 1066 is probably the most important year in Britain’s history. The Norman Conquest.

Queen Emma was the daughter of Richard I of Normandy.

She was married twice. Her first husband was the Anglo-Saxon King Aethelred ‘The Unready’ and when he passed away, married Danish King Canute (famous for sitting in a chair at the seafront; tried and failed to stop the tide coming in. It resulted in his feet becoming rather wet.

Queen Emma had two sons: Harthcanut and Edward the Confessor.

She is the only Queen to be Queen twice and the only Queen to have a mortuary chest in Winchester Cathedral.

There are many many ancient buildings in Winchester High Street, one of which is a half-timbered former residence and Queen Emma’s principal home.

‘God Begot House’, now an Italian restaurant. The translation of the name has changed over the centuries and is now thought to be ‘the good getter’. This was her principal home. The building still has the ancient inside structure with beams and a room that is thought to be haunted. The outside frontage is, to say the least, awesome.

Queen Emma and her sons helped to a degree in planning the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Why most people had never heard of her is a mystery. She played such an important role in the history of the Kings and Queens of Winchester.

Winchester is home to the world-famous 1000-year-old Cathedral. And has the longest medieval nave. The Cathedral  Contains remains of many ancient monarchs in mortuary chests, including Queen Emma.


Simon Lever
Simon Lever
Prior to his retirement, Simon engaged in software and services sector search and recruitment for American companies around Europe. He has retained the enjoyment of engaging with people from other countries and cultures. His energies are now directed towards voluntary community activities, journaling, and exhibition stewardship. He is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. As an Exhibition Steward, at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral, he is responsible for guiding visitors from the world over, around the award-winning 'Kings and Scribes Exhibition', which includes the 900-year-old Winchester Bible. The exhibition introduces visitors to Winchester's historical significance as a former capital of England. Simon's journaling activities are published on BizCatalyst 360° and accompanying posts on LinkedIn, He acknowledges the inspiration afforded him by Carol Campos of Massachusetts: Life Strategist, Writer, and Intuitive Business Leader who introduced him to writing with feeling; from the heart. Simon's forté is creative writing; the accent on the natural environment, transforming feelings, emotions, sights, sounds, and scents of Mother Nature's landscape; hills and rivers and woodland into words, transporting the reader to the locations. Essays include accounts of his life in former days. Instinctively writing in such a spontaneous manner, descriptions become life-like. His often emotionally charged writing, whether describing a surreal 'Son et Lumière' at the Grand Place in Brussels to experiences acquired during European business travel. Journaling and Exhibition Steward activities are his key sources of inspiration and creativity. Kindness is ever more important, where he is a promoter of Shelly Elsliger PPCC's 'Decide to be Kind' Campaign. Simon champions Positivity, Empathy, and Kindness and has been described as a 'Beacon of Positivity'.

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