Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Project Tags

view all


  • Elizabeth Bryce (b. - c.1542)
    Elizabeth Bryce , died before 1542, was the granddaughter of a London goldsmith, Sir Hugh Bryce (d. September 22, 1496) and his wife, Elizabeth Chester (d.1504). It is not certain when her father, Ja...
  • Anne Basset (1521 - 1558)
    Anne Bassett was an English courtier of the Tudor period, whose charms attracted the attention of King Henry VIII. Family background Anne was born in 1521, the fourth child of Sir John Bassett an...
  • Elizabeth Bryan, Lady Carew (c.1495 - c.1546)
    Elizabeth Bryan , also known as Elizabeth, Lady Carew was born 1499 in England and died in July 1546. Her will as ‘Ladye Dame Elsabeth Carewe’ was dated (May 21, 1546) and proved (July 17...
  • Mary Shelton, Royal Mistress (c.1518 - c.1570)
    Margaret (Madge) Shelton and Mary Shelton (died 1560) were two sisters in Tudor England, one of whom may have been a mistress of Henry VIII of England. Mary was a maid-of-honour and poet. She was t...
  • Elżbieta Grabowska (1748 - 1810)
    Elżbieta Szydłowska, married surname Grabowska, (b. 1748 – d. 1 June 1810) was a member of the Polish gentry, a mistress and a morganatic wife of the last elective King of Poland...

Royal mistress

A royal mistress is the historical position of a mistress to a monarch or an heir apparent. Some mistresses have had considerable power. These powerful mistresses have been commonly referred to as the "power behind the throne". The prevalence of the institution can be attributed to the fact that royal marriages were until recent times conducted solely on the basis of political and dynastic considerations, leaving little space for the monarch's personal preferences in the choice of a mate.

In European history the children of mistresses were not normally included in the line of succession, except perhaps when secret marriages were alleged. Hence the Monmouth Rebellion when James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth claimed the thrones of England and Scotland on the grounds that his mother had been the wife, rather than a mistress of Charles II.

Lists of Royal mistresses