The Society organises regular conferences on major topics in court studies and on particular aspects of court culture. Often held at locations of historical interest, the Society’s conferences combine papers from scholars, writers and research students, and always present ground-breaking research.

Enlightened Monarchs: Art at Court in the Eighteenth Century
7 May 2014
Wallace Collection, London, 10am-7pm

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of George I’s accession to the British throne in 1714, The Royal Collection Trust, the Wallace Collection and the Society for Court Studies are organising a study day dedicated to the often overlooked art patronage of the first two Georges and their families. In addition to investigating official commissions and personal taste, it will explore differences and similarities between the arts at court in Britain, Prussia, France and Spain in the age of Enlightenment. The day will conclude with a private view of The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760 at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Tickets are £35. For more information and to book, please click here.


Desmond Shawe-Taylor (Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures) Introduction
Wolf Burchard (Royal Collection Trust) Where is Hanover? The artistic and dynastic roots of the first monarchs
Julius Bryant (V&A) William Kent’s royal clients: a challenge to exhibition curation
Joanna Marschner (Historic Royal Palaces) Becoming British: Queen Caroline and Collecting
Christopher Vogtherr (Wallace Collection) Sophie Charlotte of Prussia and Frederick the Great as collectors
Helen Jacobson (Wallace Collection) Louis XV and the control of art in France
Curt Noel (New York University London) The Kings’ own Taste or the Politics of Reform? Bourbon Royal Patronage in Madrid.

The conference will be followed by a private view of The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760 at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Other Conferences

This section offers listings of conferences and other events in the field of court studies hosted by related organisations and institutions.

Power and Architecture: Residences of Monarchs and Seats of State Authorities in Europe – Forms and Functions
9-11 April 2014
Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland

This conference is planned to mark the inauguration of the European Residences Project (PRE), devoted to the seats of monarchs and central authorities in Europe, which will comprise annual academic sessions, a cycle of publications and an internet portal. The conference will analyse the connections between different royal residences in Europe, as well as their functions and their roles in the public display of power, from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.

Early Stuart Politics: The Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-French marriage negotiations and their aftermath (c. 1604-1630)
11-12 April 2014, Canterbury, UK

This conference will investigate the cultural, religious, foreign and domestic politics surrounding the Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-French marriage negotiations that dominated early Stuart policy, as James I sought a match with the great Catholic powers of Europe for his sons, Prince Henry and Prince Charles. Negotiations for an Anglo-Spanish match began as early as 1604 and continued, on and off, until 1623, when they finally broke down. The Anglo-French marriage treaty of 1624 between Prince Charles and Henrietta Maria represented a major shift in international allegiances. Yet, despite the initial hopes for an anti-Habsburg alliance with France, the Anglo-French match in fact marked the beginning of hostilities between the Houses of Stuart and Bourbon. Both marriage negotiations were followed by a breakdown of diplomatic relations, with England finding itself at war with Spain (1624-1630) and France (1627-1629) at once.

This conference aims to create opportunities for comparative discussion on the marriage negotiations and on questions of Catholic toleration, Jacobean and Caroline foreign policy, dynasticism, the workings of early modern diplomacy, the role of the court and the wider cultural context in which the negotiations took place.

Keynote speakers include: Thomas Cogswell, Steve Murdoch, Malcolm Smuts, and Manuel Rivero, with closing remarks by Sir John Elliott and Glyn Redworth. To register for this event, please visit the website:

Monarchies at War (1914-18)
27 May 2014
King’s College London, UK

For more information, please email Dr Matthew Glencross at

George I – 300 years on: Reconstructing the Succession
18-20 June 2014
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, UK

This interdisciplinary conference, commemorating the accession of the first Hanoverian king, George I, will examine not just the end of the Stuart era, but the defining characteristics, outcomes and consequences of the Hanoverian succession. The conference is convened by the Centre for History and Culture at Bath Spa University. For more information, email:; or see

12th International Conference on Urban History
3-6 September 2014
Lisbon, Portugal

This major international conference will include a session on ‘The Court and Urban Sociability in Europe, c. 1400-1917’. Royal and imperial courts played a central role in urban development in Europe, from the Middle Age to the twentieth century. La cour et la ville, the court and the city, were the focal points of public life in medieval, early modern Europe and modern Europe. However, they were not opposing entities; there was intense and multilevel interaction between them.

Recent research has brought to light the political, cultural, economic and social importance of courts in cities. This session aims to explore the role of courts in urban society and establish a comparative European perspective for the topic. Proposals for papers on the following themes are invited:

1) Court, city and the civilising process: how did the urban and courtly civilising practices shape each other and which were the mechanisms of their interaction?
2) The impact of courtly politeness on the codes of urban sociability and vice versa.
3) Changing public roles: how did individuals play different parts on the courtly stage and in city life?
4) The comparative perspective: how did the interaction between courts and urban institutions develop in the different parts of Europe?
5) The court and the city in the literary imagination and artistic representations.
6) How did the revolutionary periods transform the role of the court in the urban milieu?

Any questions or suggestions should be sent to My Hellsing at Örebro University, Sweden ( and Johanna Ilmakunnas at the University of Helsinki, Finland (

More information about the conference is available at

For a list of past conferences organised by the Society for Court Studies, click here.