Remember, remember, the Fifth of November…

Elizabeth Stuart by Gerrit van Honthorst. National Portrait Gallery, London.

I was doing some reading about the Gunpowder, Treason and Plot thingie when I came across this lady. I read that she was Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England and our very own Anne of Denmark and naturally my interest was spiked.

Elizabeth was born on the 19th of August 1596, the second child of James and Anne at Falkland Palace in Fife, Scotland and was six years old when her father took the English throne.

Elizabeth in 1606, by Robert Peake the Elder. Metropolitan Museum of Art

She comes into the Gunpowder, Treason and Plot by being Guy Fawkes’ intended Catholic monarch. It was his plan to kidnap her in 1605, when she was nine, and, after assassinating her father to put her on the throne. Happily, Guy Fawkes was apprehended before he could murder her father and Elizabeth remained a princess, not to follow in her aunt’s footsteps as a reigning queen of England.
Elizabeth was married on Valentine’s Day 1613 to Frederick V, the Elector of the Palatinate in Germany. They were married at the palace of Whitehall and John Donne, the famous 17th century poet, wrote a poem to celebrate the event “Epithalamion, or Marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth, and Count Palatine being married on St. Valentines Day.”

Frederick led the coalition of Protestant princes at Holy Roman Emperor’s court and marrying Elizabeth would have tightened his ties to his fellow protestants at the court. Despite the business-like affair of their marriage, the two were believed to be genuinely in love with each other and Frederick even created an English wing in his palace at Heidelberg to make his wife comfortable.

Elizabeth is also sometimes called The Winter Queen, the cause being her husband’s short reign as king of Bohemia. Frederick was offered the Bohemian crown in 1619 and both him and Elizabeth were crowned in November 1619. However, Ferdinand II, the Holy Roman Emperor, had a birthright to the throne and did not let them reign long. He forced the couple into exile by 1920, where Elizabeth came to be known as the Winter Queen.

In 1648 her son, Charles I, won back the Electorate of the Palatinate and after the Restoration of the English and Scottish Monarchs, it was also possible for Elizabeth to travel to England to visit her nephew, Charles II.

It is also through Elizabeth’s line the Hanoverian royal house of Britain, which ended in 1901 with Queen Victoria, is descended. Her daughter, Sophia of Hanover, had become the nearest Protestant to the English and Irish crown and under the Act of Settlement (1701) the royal crown was bestowed on her and her issue.

And this particular blog owner, will never cease to be amazed at how interconnected the royal houses of Europe really are. I hope all of my readers in England are having a great Bonfire Night!

Elizabeth as a widow, by Gerard van Honthorst. National Gallery of London.

 

 

A Royal Affair

It has come to my attention that the Danish production company, Zentropa, are producing a movie about Queen Caroline Mathilde and her affair with Johann Struensee. It’s directed by Nikolaj Arcel, a Danish director, and is going to be in both English and Danish. In the role as Struensee, we have Mads Mikkelsen who is working on his international career, but who is already world famous in Denmark. Playing the queen is Alica Wikander, a Swedish actress and dancer.

Zentropa

The manuscript is based on either “Princess of the Blood” by Bodil Steensen-Leth, which I read to exhaustion as a teenager, or on “The Visit of the Royal Physician” by Per Olov Enquist. I’ve read the latter many times, and it is highly recommendable. I am not aware of whether the former is released in English.

The film is expected to premier in March 2012, so there is a wait still, but I look forward to hearing more and more about this film.

Zentropa

Source

Click this link to read my post on Caroline Mathilde

Six Tudor Ladies

Henry VIII's wives

The photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto took pictures of the wax figues made of  Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleeves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

I love how life-like they look, quite different from the, quite brilliant, portraits that were made of them in their time.