Cartimandua was a 1st-century queen of the Brigantes, a Celtic people living in what is now northern England. She came to power around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, and formed a large tribal agglomeration that became loyal to Rome. She appears to have been widely influential in early Roman Britain.
Our only knowledge of Cartimandua is through the writings of Roman author Tacitus, who presents her in a negative light. He writes of her treacherous role in the capture of Caratacus, who had sought her protection, her “self-indulgence, her sexual impropriety in rejecting her husband in favour of a common soldier, and her "cunning strategems” during her rule. However, he also consistently names her as a queen, the only one such known in early Roman Britain.
Boudica was ruler of the Iceni people, a Celtic tribe, who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. In AD 60 or 61, while the Roman governor Gaius Paulinus was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni as well as the Trinovantes and others in revolt.
Boudica led 100,000 Iceni, Trinovantes and others to fight the Roman Legio IX Hispana and burned and destroyed several settlements in Britannia. An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities by those led by Boudica. The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius’s eventual victory over Boudica confirmed Roman control of the province. Boudica’s fate is not known.
The two women are the only known female Celtic rulers of the age.