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THE ICONOGRAPHY OF MONARCHY. According to Roy Strong in Gloriana (1987), “the deliberate development of state festivals in glorification of rulers, the.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ICONOGRAPHY OF MONARCHY. According to Roy Strong in Gloriana (1987), “the deliberate development of state festivals in glorification of rulers, the."— Presentation transcript:


2 According to Roy Strong in Gloriana (1987), “the deliberate development of state festivals in glorification of rulers, the evolution of the palace as an architectural complex and the patronage of humanist poets and historiographers” were all ways in which rulers in early modern Europe consolidated their power and expanded the “Idea of Monarchy.”

3 IN THE WORDS OF THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY  “The principal symbol of the Monarchy is often deemed to be the Sovereign themselves. However, throughout the history of the Monarchy the authority of the Sovereign has been represented by symbols.”  “The most notable symbols of Monarchy are the Crown Jewels and regalia, the Honours of Scotland and the Principality of Wales. Lesser known symbols include the Great Seal and personal emblems of the Monarch such as the Royal Standard and Coats of Arms. Even buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are often said to be a physical representation of the Monarchy.”

4 THE CROWN JEWELS “The Crown Jewels, which are part of the Royal Collection, are displayed to millions of visitors every year, guarded by Yeomen Warders (‘Beefeaters’) in the Tower of London. The Jewel House at the Tower has been used for the secure storage of the precious ceremonial objects, commonly known as the ‘Crown Jewels’, since the early 14th century, when Westminster Abbey (the alternative store) was found to be unsafe.” ollections/TheCrownJewels/Gallery.aspx

5 THE HONOURS OF SCOTLAND  The Honours of Scotland are the oldest regalia in the British Isles.  The crown, the sword and sceptre date from the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, during the reigns of James IV and James V, the grandfather and father of Mary Queen of Scots.  cotland.aspx cotland.aspx

6 THE HONOURS OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF WALES  The Honours of the Principality of Wales are the regalia associated with the Princes of Wales.  The original insignia used in the investiture of a Prince of Wales consisted of a coronet, a ring, a rod and a mantle. In Tudor times a sword and girdle were added.  ncipalityofWales.aspx ncipalityofWales.aspx

7 THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – 1155) is the source of much of the Arthurian legend. Geoffrey traces the origin of Britain back to King Brut (a descendant of Aeneas)and his band of Trojans. He relates how the evil Vortigern brings the Saxons to the island as mercenaries. A Welsh prophet by the name of Merlin helps depose Vortigern and the noble Arthur comes to power. Arthur defeats the Saxons and marries Guinevere, initiating a "Golden Age" of peace and prosperity in Britain. He and his knights go on to conquer Gaul from the weakened Romans and holds court at Caerleon. Arthur is betrayed at home by his rebellious nephew Mordred and returns to Britain to restore order. Mortally wounded in the battle that ensues, he is buried on the Isle of Avalon. The Anglo-Saxons are subsequently victorious and the Britons retreat into Wales with Merlin predicting an eventual return to power of the Celts.

8 “ROMAN DE BRUT”  The story of the Knights of the Round Table was developed by the twelfth century Norman poet Wace in his "Roman de Brut". This poem was based on a translation of the Historia Regum Britanniae (the History of the King's of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth) into French verse. The poem, entitled “Roman de Brut,” was presented by Wace to Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of King Henry II, in 1155. Wace embellished the Arthurian story and invented the legend of the Round Table. He was also the first to give the name Excalibur to King Arthur's sword.

9 Sir Thomas Malory in his "Le Morte D'Arthur" was the first to associate the Wessex capital of Winchester with the Camelot of the Arthurian legends. His book was printed by Caxton in 1485, the year the Tudors came to the throne. An ancient Round Table in the Great Hall at Winchester was reputed to be King Arthur's Round Table, and the Tudors treated it as such. Problem with this chronology?

10 A MEDIEVAL ROUND TABLE? Twentieth-century tests have dated the Winchester table to the 1270s, at the beginning of King Edward I's reign. Historians think this use of the Arthurian Legend was a way for Edward to justify his conquest of Wales.

11 In 1278 Edward I and Queen Eleanor of Castille visited Glastonbury Abbey and reinterred the “remains” of Arthur and Guinevere in the new abbey church. Edward proclaimed his son, Edward of Caernarvon, Prince of Wales, and claimed to be the legitimate successor of King Arthur.

12 Other historians credit the construction of the Round Table to Edward III who announced his plan to create a new order of chivalrous knights of the round table in 1344. But recent archaeological evidence suggests that Edward’s round hall (large enough to encompass 300 knights) was to be located at Windsor, not Winchester. Windsor was where he created the Order of the Garter in in 1348.

13 TUDOR ICONOGRAPHY The Tudors consciously employed symbolism to legitimize their rule, and, given their Welsh ancestry, were quite attracted by the Arthurian Legend.


15  Henry VII named his first son Arthur.  His second son Henry was trained in the art of chivalry and sponsored and participated in numerous tournaments.  Henry VIII had the Round Table at Winchester painted in the Tudor colors of green and white, adorned with the Tudor rose, and labeled with the names of Arthur’s knights. Arthur himself looks remarkably like a young Henry VIII.



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