Heidi Mehrkins - December 2019

Royal heirs as patrons of the arts and sciences in 19th-century European monarchies

This seminar will explore how royal heirs in constitutional monarchies engaged with their role as patrons of the arts and sciences. As patrons of artists, commissioning paintings or music, 19th-century princes next-in-line to the throne followed a longstanding royal tradition. It is interesting to note though that many princes increasingly chose to be patrons of educational projects, including schools and museums, at a time when education and learning as values were promoted by dynasties on a national level. The talk will reflect on the function of princely patronage as a means of communication and of fostering relationships with the monarchy’s various audiences. A closer look at the worthy causes 19th-century royal princes chose to support will hence contribute to our understanding of the ‘nationalised’ role of the royal heir within a changing monarchical environment.