Amy Bailey is Princess Kwenthrith
Princess Kwenthrith is the determined and seductive claimant to the Mercian crown. Her character first appears in Vikings’ Season 2.
Princess Kwenthrith is the daughter of the late King Offa of Mercia. She is also the sister of the late Prince Kenelm, who’s since been sainted by the pope, and Burgred, who is fighting with her uncle, Brihtwulf, to prevent Kwenthrith from claiming Mercia as her own.
She claims that her uncle Brihtwulf began raping her at the age of 6 and that he would bring other men to her so that they might, as she puts it, ‘enjoy the pleasure of having sex with a child’. Her uncle also forced her to have sex with her brother Kenelm when she was 12.
After his father died, Kenelm took the Mercian throne. Unfortunately, the young King died and rumors abound that the princess killed Kenelm, which set off a nasty civil war, herself being one of the leading claimants to the Mercian crown.
Princess Kwenthrith is introduced arriving at King Ecbert’s castle. He realizes the advantage of influencing Mercia’s future, and seeks to ally himself with the princess, at least for the time being. He welcomes her to Wessex with a grand feast, where she engages Athelstan in conversation about his experiences among the Northmen. Kwenthrith proceeds to ask the flustered monk about the liberal sex life of the Northmen, and how much more “natural” it seems.
She later shares King Ecbert’s bed, though he is unfortunately finished (and quite exhausted) before the princess has had enough. The king sends in three of his guards in an attempt to satisfy her seemingly insatiable sexual appetite.
When King Ecbert hires a company of Vikings as mercenaries, after a stunning victory against them in battle, the princess strolls through the ranks, remarking that she would like to breed with them, that she would certainly produce “giants” with such men.
When Ragnar returns to Wessex, King Ecbert asks him to fight for Princess Kwenthrith so that she may claim Mercia and the crown. Ragnar is uninterested in helping her and tells the King that this was not part of their treaty. Nevertheless, he agrees to help.
Not one to sit idly, Princess Kwenthrith joins Ragnar and his warriors as they seek out her brother and uncle. She promises Ragnar that he can offer her something special should he follow through in his task. The Northmen find the Mercians with large armies on each side of an expansive river; Ragnar decides to take on her uncle, confusing Burgred who does not understand why they are not attacking both sides. A bloody battle ensures, leaving Brihtwulf dead.
Princess Kwenthrith, heavily intoxicated and wildly pleased with her uncle’s death, asks Ragnar for his head, to which he agrees. Ragnar learns that her uncle used to rape her and would not stop despite her cries. The princess happily takes the head and stabs it over and over again, finally free of him.
The increasing sexual tension between Ragnar and Kwenthrith is finally realized after Ragnar safely recovers her brother, Burgred, as promised. Though Ragnar warns her that her brother is weak and that he could cause her downfall. After receiving a wound during battle, Kwenthrith decides to urinate on it to help sterilize the area. The two have sex in a field after her unusual act.
At a grand feast held by King Ecbert, Princess Kwenthrith decides that her brother is no longer needed – she poisons his drink, which lends itself to the entire dinner party pouring out their drinks as well. It is clear that the princess will be no one’s pawn and fully intends to take Mercia for herself. She decides to rule Mercia alone, breaking her arrangement with King Ecbert and killing the Wessex nobles that had been sent to monitor her. The king sends his son, Aethelwulf, to Mercia to try to reason with her. She uses her charm and sex to try to take advantage of Aethelwulf, though he manages to rebuff her. She reveals to him instead a baby boy, Magnus, whose presumed father is Ragnar. She claims that Ragnar will protect her and her son, though Aethelwulf does not believe her. None of the assassinated Wessex nobles had ever reported that she was with child.
Aethelwulf informs her that he is fully aware that his father is using him and acknowledges that he will likely be killed by Kwenthrith and that his father will use his death as a pretext to invade Mercia. This threat seems to chasten Kwenthrith and she accedes to Aethewulf’s demands.
She studied dance from a young age with the Houston Ballet. As a teenager she performed with the Joffrey Ballet in New York and London Ballet Theatre in England. Amy was a professional ballerina in the U.K. and abroad for several years, additionally training with coaches from Cirque du Soleil.
Amy started her acting career in the theatre. She has received rave reviews for numerous leading roles, ranging from West End shows such as “The Producers” and “Guys & Dolls”, to Woody Allen’s “Play It Again, Sam”.
Film and TV credits began with roles in “Nine” and “Alice in Wonderland”. This was followed by the indie film “A Girl Walks into a Bar”, and starring roles in the TV series “Alive”, and SyFy Network’s “Legend of Cain”.
Amy is actively involved in the comedy improvisation scene in both London and L.A., having trained at the famed Groundlings Theater and regularly featuring at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
She also enjoys collaborations with several fashion labels, including a film for Italian Vogue on designer Marios Schwab, for his 2012 collection.