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Queen Mary Modena's Revolutionary Bed

August 25, 2014

Queen Mary Modena's Revolutionary Bed

While the Queen-sized beds we sell will make any girl feel like a queen, there are still many beds in existence where true blue-blooded queens used to rest their heads. No bed was as contentious as Mary Modena’s bed where she gave birth to her only son who lived past infancy in front of an audience of at least 200 people.

Recordings of this incident really debunk the myth that royal bedchambers were places of modesty; until Queen Victoria’s reign, they were often a hub of activity. A modern comparison would be Hollywood celebrities and the paparazzi - a Queen in the mid 1600’s had very little privacy. Today’s blog looks at this Queen’s bed draped in deep royal blues and reds because the story behind it is as rich and colourful as its fine Genoa velvet.

A Catholic, Mary Modena gave birth unexpectedly to a bouncing baby boy, James Francis Stuart in 1688 in this exquisite bed. This led to widespread fear of a future Catholic monarch by rival Protestants which sparked rumours that the real prince was stillborn and had been replaced by a changeling (a child taken from his mother to other parents or the child of a fantasy creature smuggled into a human family).

This led to the baby’s claim to the throne being challenged by Protestants Mary and William (of Orange) sparking a greater intolerance of Catholics in Britain and finally the Glorious Revolution. William and Mary took to the throne after James's father (James the Second) was deposed, sidelining James as the future King of England. As a consequence he later earned the title “the Old Pretender” and spent much of his life in the Vatican suffering from bouts of depression although living in relative splendour.

The Glorious Revolution is considered an important event that transformed the Monarchy and Parliament, laying the foundation for Britain’s modern-day constitutional system. This was truly a the bed that brought a revolution and a reformed system to Britain.

Image Source: Wikimedia

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