To Be a Queen

Winner of an IndieBRAG Gold Medallion!! 

This is the true story of Aethelflaed, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’, daughter of Alfred the Great. She was the only female leader of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It is the tale of one family, two kingdoms and a common enemy.

Born into the royal house of Wessex at the height of the Viking wars, she is sent to her aunt in Mercia as a foster-child, only to return home when the Vikings overrun Mercia. In Wessex, she witnesses another Viking attack and this compounds her fear of the enemy.

She falls in love with a Mercian lord but is heartbroken to be given as bride to the ruler of Mercia to seal the alliance between the two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

She must learn to subjugate her feelings for her first love, overcome her indifference to her husband and win the hearts of the Mercians who despise her as a foreigner and twice make an attempt on her life.

When her husband falls ill and is incapacitated, she has to learn to rule and lead an army in his stead. Eventually she must fight to save her adopted Mercia from the Vikings and, ultimately, her own brother.

available on Amazon

“Annie Whitehead has achieved a stirring and passionately written account of a woman who thoroughly deserves to have her story told.” HNS Review

“Impressive, thoroughly researched and entertaining work of fiction.” Westmorland Gazette

About the author:

Annie is a history graduate and part time freelance Early Years music teacher and mother of three children. Now that those children are all grown-up, she has found the time to return to her first love - history. To Be a Queen is the first of three novels set in Mercia during the so-called Dark Ages, and it has been recently nominated for the Historical Novel Society’s Indie book of the Year 2016 and awarded an indieBRAG Gold medallion.

She has twice been a prize-winner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition and was first-prize winner in the New Writer Prose and Poetry competition 2012.


  1. Would love to read your book, I do hope it is available in America

    1. Hi Anne, Yes the book is available worldwide; either on, or if you prefer free shipping, the Book depository will sort that for you :) Thanks so much for stopping by and taking an interest.

  2. Elizabeth Gates Before now, women have always seen the world through the light of men's ambitions. But, tthough this may shape the physical space they move within, they may not play by the rules of what women are perceived to be able to offer. Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred the Great and intricately connected to many Anglo-Saxon noble houses, is in this mould. And Annie Whitehead takes you right there. World-building is a key element of the historical novel and this is one of Ms Whitehead's major talents. If you are curious as to how a modern woman would make her way in the Anglo-saxon world, 'To Be A Queen' is the winter read for you!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments Lizzie!!!