The name of the Fairy Queen

So in fact, in traditional English folklore the fairy queen doesn’t really have a name. Names often used are Mab or Titania, which both come from Shakespeare. Queen Mab is mentioned in Romeo & Juliet:

‘O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes…

‘ – Romeo & Juliet

And that’s it really. Shakespeare may have been referencing an older folktale, or perhaps Meabh who is a Queen in Irish Mythology, but no one really knows for sure (and Una was the last Queen of the
Daoine Sidhe).

The other name Shakespeare uses is Titania, in
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This is from Roman mythology as a title for the Goddess Diana, a daughter of Titans. In demonology it was often Diana who was said to rule the fairy kingdom:

‘The fourth kind of spirits, which by the Gentiles was called Diana and her wandering court, and amongst us is called Fairy…’ –

Also from about the same time as Shakespeare (in fact slightly earlier) was Edmund Spenser’s ‘The Faerie Queene’. In which the Queen is named Gloriana. Whereas Shakespeare’s Titania is the wife of Oberon, Gloriana was his daughter (I don’t think they were married, but to be honest I haven’t read it).

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