Princes Consort in History

Friday 16 December 2011, Chancellor's Hall, Senate House

2011 is the 150th anniversary of the death of Prince Albert and also the 90th birthday of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

In collaboration with the Society for Court Studies, the Institute is bringing together a range of international historians to look at the peculiar yet influential institution of the male royal consort from Ferdinand of Castile through to the famous examples of the 18th century such as Prince George of Denmark, and onto contemporary personalities in western Europe. Our interest lies in studying how male partners of female monarchs have had and used power, how gender affected their perceived role, what sort of court and political influence they were able to wield and attract, how they often defined themselves in distinctive spheres of the arts or war, and more generally, the extent to which they contributed to the changing ideal and reality of royal families and dynasties over the centuries.


Provisional programme


Panel session 1: Late Medieval Monarchy men

David Abulafia, Ferdinand of Aragon - Ferdinand the Catholic: a consort with six crowns
Luc Duerloo, Upstairs, Downstairs: Archduke Albert, consort of the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, 1598-1621 
Elena Woodacre, The kings consort of Navarre; 1284-1512

Tea/coffee break

Plenary lecture

Derek Beales, Francis Stephen: Duke of Lorraine 1729-37, grand-duke of Tuscany 1737-65, co-regent of the Austrian Monarchy 1740-65, Holy Roman Emperor 1745-65 

Panel session 2: The 18th Century

Charles Beem, Why Prince George of Denmark Did Not Become a King of England
Paul Keenan, 'The misfortune to be German': Ernst Johann von Biron and the Russian Court, 1730-40
Fabian Persson, From ruler in the shadows to shadow king


Plenary lecture

Hugo Vickers, Prince Philip: The life and work of a modern consort

Panel session 3: The 20th Century

Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Prince Philip: sportsman and youth leader

Tea/coffee break

Panel session 4: Princes Consort in the old and new worlds

Daniel Alves, Ferdinand II of Portugal: A conciliator king, in a turmoil kingdom
Roderick J. Barman Gaston Orleans, Comte d’Eu: Prince Consort to Isabel of Brazil
Karina Urbach, The Creative Consort: New Sources on Prince Albert
Simin Patel, Commemorating the consort in colonial Bombay



Please note that members of the Society of Court Studies are elible for a discounted rate. Please see the registration form for further details.

For any enquiries, please contact