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’Inane Reginæ nomen’: the Ambivalent Position of a Foreign Queen within the Court (1490-1520)

Intervention de :

colloque : Courtly Experiences in the Premodern World, c. 1200-1800: Cultural, Material and Sensory Experiences in the World of the Court

Date : 23 août 2024

Lieu : Olomouc, République Tchèque

Organisation : Palacký University Olomouc, The Society for Courtly Studies, Centre for Research on Courts and Residences, Institute of History (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Présentation de l'intervention

Ostentatious cross-cultural encounters took place in royal courts on the
occasion of princely weddings. Preceding negotiations concerned the composition of the
dowry, which included jewels and dresses, as well as the ceremonial and traveling costs.
The richness that surrounded a new royal bride should lead her to a privileged position
within the foreign court, where she should represent her family’s interests. Despite their
eminent diplomatic objectives, princesses often struggled to establish authority amongst
the complex web of politics, personal dynamics and cultural differences within the court.
Through a comparative analysis of the Trastamare and Habsburg bridal experiences
between 1490 and 1520, this proposition seeks to shed light on their multifaceted
experiences, exploring the intricate interplay between duty, ambition, and identity within
the royal courts. Their individual experiences were shared through diplomatic
correspondence, which would not only influence the course of diplomatic relations, but
also shape their beliefs about the utility of the matrimonial institution. Despite the
hegemonic royal endogamy, skepticism towards this practice is present in Erasmus and
Thomas More writings, but also in Isabella of Austria’s correspondence, and more clearly
represented by Mary Tudor’s or Eleanor of Austria’s secret projects of marrying for love.

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