On Sicily | Margaret Queen of Sicily With Jacqueline Alio

Margaret Queen of Sicily

At 31 years old, Margaret of Navarre was the most powerful woman in Europe and the Mediterranean, and she successfully navigated the Kingdom of Sicily from 1166 to 1171, maintaining the progressive constitutional laws her father-in-law, Roger II, had established. Yet until now, historians barely mention her.

Listen to Our Conversation On Sicily


On Sicily | Margaret Queen of Sicily With Jacqueline Alio

Our Guest:

Jacqueline Alio, Historian, Author, Professional Tour Guide


Margaret of Navarre was Queen Regent of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1166 to 1171, during the height of the Norman era. Her husband, William I, died of dysentery at age 46, leaving her and her third-oldest son, William II, who was just 12 years old at the time, to lead one of Europe’s most important domains. For five years, Margaret supervised the multi-cultural Regnum through power plays and palace intrigue (instigated by subversive ecclesiastical and baronial classes), all while setting a strong example for her son William II so he could successfully foster and further cultivate the great society that his grandfather Roger II had established.

Meet Jacqueline:

Jacqueline Alio, Our Guide
Jacqueline Alio, Our Guide

Jacqueline Alio was born and raised in California by Sicilian parents who never severed their connection with their beloved island. As a child, she traveled to Sicily often and she developed a significant bond with her ancestral homeland and relatives. Eventually, Jacqueline and her family decided to resettle in Sicily, where she completed her studies. Possessing a profound passion for the region, she chose careers that enabled her to promote the history and traditions of the former kingdom.

For more than 25 years, Jacqueline has worked as a certified, local guide with a focus on Palermo and its surroundings. She has authored many books and articles about Sicily and Sicilian culture that have been read by millions of people all over the world. She lectures frequently on the island’s profound history, food and wine culture, and people, with a focus on women. Jacqueline’s books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Fishpond, and more.

Background about Margaret Queen of Sicily

  • Birth name: Margaret of Navarre
  • Born in 1135 in Navarre, Spain
  • Her father was King Garcìa Ramìrez of Navarre and her mother was Marguerite de l’Aigle.
  • In 1150, she married William of Sicily, fourth son of King Roger II.
  • Mother to four sons: Roger, Robert, William II, and Henry
  • Margaret led the Kingdom of Sicily as Queen Regent from 1166 to 1171.
  • She died in 1183 at age 48.


A Selection of Jacqueline Alio’s Books

Margaret Queen of Sicily
Queens of Sicily 1061 – 1266
Sicilian Queenship 1061 – 1266
Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens & Rebels
Time Traveler’s Guide to Sicily (Jaqueline Alio and Louis Mendola)
Sicilian Food and Wine: The Cognoscent’s Guide
The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy

Image of Saint Thomas Becket depicted in Monreale CathedralThomas-Beckett-Monreale

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