Princess Henrietta Maria of France was the Princess Diana of her Day, says historical novelist Fiona Mountain. The cavalier queen of the title was destined to be one of England’s most glamorous queens. Instead, she was caught up in the English Civil War and torn between the two men she loved, her husband Charles I and the charismatic Harry Jermyn, who designed and built part of London’s West End. Mountain tells their stories in her latest work of historical fiction, Cavalier Queen. During the Civil War, Queen Henrietta lived in the Warden’s Lodgings at Merton College, Oxford, while her husband was living at the next door Christ Church deanery. A small connecting door was made between the colleges. This event takes place at Corpus Christi College, which lies between Merton and Christ Church.
Mountain worked at BBC Radio 1 before leaving to pursue her passion for history. She has a particular fascination for the 17th century and has written five novels including Isabella, the story of Bounty mutineer Christian Fletcher and his cousin Isabella Curwen. Here she talks to author and broadcaster Paul Blezard.