European Grant for the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

Maria Amalia, Queen of the Two Sicilies, in Polish dress by Louis de Silvestre (1738)Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, FBA, learned on 3 May 2013 that her application for a collaborative research grant to HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) was one of 18 successful projects. The 3-year grant of almost 1 million Euros will enable her to work with colleagues in Germany, Poland and Sweden on ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities 1500-1800’. The focus of the project is the foreign consort as agent of cultural transfer. Among the case studies to be investigated are the Polish princess Katarzyna Jagiellonka, Duchess of Finland and Queen of Sweden (1526-83); Hedwig Eleonora, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp and Queen of Sweden (1636-1715); the Portuguese princess Catarina of Braganza, Queen of Great Britain (1638-1705); and Maria Amalia, Princess of Saxony, Queen of the Two Sicilies and Queen of Spain (1724-1760).

Charles II and Catherina de Braganza
Working with colleagues in historic palaces, museums and libraries (e.g., Kensington Palace, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Royal Armoury, Stockholm, and the Duke August Library, Wolfenbüttel) the project members will also consider how it is that certain consorts become embedded in national cultural memory and others do not.


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