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New exhibition to reveal close relationship of the royal family and Shakespeare through history

The close relationship between Shakespeare and the royal family through history will be explored in an online exhibition being launched on 15 July.

This painting was created after a production of Richard II in 1857 which was a big hit with Queen Victoria's family. Her eldest daughter made this watercolour, titled 'The Entry of Bolingbroke', as a birthday present for the queen.
This painting was created after a production of Richard II in 1857 which was a big hit with Queen Victoria's family. Her eldest daughter made this watercolour, titled 'The Entry of Bolingbroke', as a birthday present for the queen. Credit: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. For one-time use only in connection with the Shakespeare in the Royal Collection project, and not to be archived, sold on or used out of context.

The close relationship between Shakespeare and the royal family through history will be explored in an online exhibition being launched on 15 July. 

The tangible effect of royal patronage on the afterlives of Shakespeare’s plays will be investigated through key objects from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives by researchers at Shakespeare in the Royal Collections (ShaRC), a London Shakespeare Centre at King's project.

3D visualisations in ‘Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family’ will allow visitors to see historical performances at Windsor Castle brought to life through the eyes of Queen Victoria and Her Majesty The Queen when Princess Elizabeth.

Paintings, books, drawings, prints, letters, essays, decorative objects, furniture and photographs from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives – all with fascinating Shakespearean connections – will be available to be explored for free online on the exhibition website here.

The exhibition ‘Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family’ forms part of a three-year AHRC-funded research project, ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collection’. Undertaken in collaboration with Royal Collection Trust, the project 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. A wider online database, allowing users to pursue their own curiosity by browsing over 1,000 Shakespeare-related objects from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives, can also be explored from 15 July.

Visit https://sharc.kcl.ac.uk/exhibition once the exhibition launches.

 

In this story

Gordon McMullan

Gordon McMullan

Professor of English. Director of the London Shakespeare Centre.

Sally  Barnden

Sally Barnden

Postdoctoral Research Associate