The Making of Monarchy for the Modern World

Wednesday, June 6th 2012 –Friday, June 8th 2012

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 and the re-opening of Kensington Palace after major redevelopment, Historic Royal Palaces held an academic conference at Kensington examining and discussing the making of a modern monarchy.  As the Palace is well known for its Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection it was important that the conference should consider the significant role played by dress in forming the image of monarchy.  Historic royal Palaces worked closely with the Costume Society to shape the conference programme which contained two strands, one focusing specifically on the importance of dress and material culture.

The keynote speech Clothing monarchy, fashioning royalty was delivered by Professor Aileen Ribeiro, Emeritus Professor of History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art.

Other speakers included:

Deirdre Murphy: ‘Nobody so well dressed’ or ‘a shocking toilette’: The young Queen Victoria’s wardrobe.

Corinne Thepaut: Princely shopping in Paris at the end of the 17th century: a study of an international network of fashion.

Philip Mansel: From George IV to George VI: the rise and fall of civil uniform.

Melissa Leventon: Modernity through the lens: photography and the westernization of Thai court dress.

Helen Walter: ‘Van Dyck in action’: dressing Charles I for the Victorian stage.

Elizabeth Dawson: ‘Comfort and freedom’: how clothing from the Duke of Windsor’s wardrobe helps define the man who was Prince of Wales, King and exiled Duke.

Kimberley Chrisman-Campbell: The Coronation costume of Lady Mary Douglas.

Bursaries enabling two Student Members of the Costume Society to attend the conference were generously sponsored by Maney Publishing.

Read the reports by Serena Dyer, MA in Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York, and Jade Halbert, University of Glasgow.


  • © Historic Royal Palaces