Although first founded and currently known as King’s Chapel, calling this church “Queen’s Chapel” wouldn’t be a misnomer. This church’s name originally reflected the English monarch and head of the Anglican Church, and the name changed based on the monarch’s gender. While its original namesake was King James II, the church was known as "Their Majesties' Chapel" from 1689 to 1694 when Queen Mary II and her husband William III co-reigned England. During the reign of Queen Anne, King's Chapel was called the Queen's Chapel or Her Majesty's Chapel.
Despite the official powers yielded by Queen Mary II and Queen Anne, women at King’s Chapel did not have a voice in the church’s leadership until the 1920s and could not be elected as church leaders until the 1940s.
Yet, women have played a crucial role in this site's history and in their communities since the church’s founding.
Through this exhibit, we return to the notion of the church as “Queen’s Chapel," and uncover the stories and legacies of twelve women connected to King's Chapel over the past 335 years.