Enfilade

Online Exhibition | Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family

Posted in exhibitions, online learning by Editor on July 15, 2021

The exhibition is available here:

Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family
Online Exhibition, launching 15 July 2021

John Boyne, ‘Falstaff and his Prince’, 1783, etching showing Charles Fox as Falstaff to George’s Prince Hal.

The Shakespeare in the Royal Collection (ShaRC) project is delighted to announce a new digital exhibition, exploring the entwined stories of Shakespeare and the royal family across the centuries, launching on Thursday, 15 July 2021. Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family reveals how influential this relationship has been in shaping British culture.

Drawing on new archival research, the exhibition (in eight sections) explores the curious, political, and sometimes tragic connections between Shakespeare and the royal family through access to key objects in the Royal Collection and Royal Archives. A Shakespeare Folio contains handwritten annotations made by Charles I shortly before his 1649 execution. A painting by Thomas Gainsborough marks the short-lived affair of the actress and poet Mary ‘Perdita’ Robinson with George IV when Prince of Wales, casting him in the role of a dashing Prince Florizel. Digital visualisations put viewers in the audience of performances watched by Queen Victoria, bringing historical Shakespearean performances in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle vividly to life for the first time.

A wider online database, allowing users to search over 1,000 Shakespeare-related objects from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives, will also shortly be launched, and can be explored here: https://sharc.kcl.ac.uk/

Shakespeare in the Royal Collection is a three-year AHRC-funded research project led by King’s College London, in collaboration with Birkbeck University of London and The Royal Collection Trust. It investigates the Shakespeare-related holdings in the Royal Collection and Royal Archives, 1714–1945, and provides new information about a broad range of objects created, collected and displayed by generations of members of the royal family.

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