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Royalty and Architecture

Visions and Ambitions of European Monarchs and Nobility.

It is well known that, throughout history, kings and queens have commissioned castles, palaces, and even entire cities, to showcase their power. Less consideration has been given, however, to monarchs whose interests in architecture were so close that they might actually be called architects. Recent research on King Gustav III of Sweden (1746–92) reveals that he was in fact the architect of a number of important building projects and gardens. Similarly, a relative of the Swedish royal, His Majesty King George III of Great Britain (1738–1820) was knowledgeable in the field and a skilled draughtsman. At this seminar that was held at Hatfield House on 18 March, leading international scholars delved into the engagement of these and other European monarchs in addition to members of the nobility with architectural practice from the 17th century to present day.


Prof. Barbara Arciszewska

Professor at the Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw

Prof. Clive Aslet

Visiting Professor of Architecture at University of Cambridge

Dr Julius Bryant

Keeper Emeritus of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Dr John Goodall

Architectural Editor of Country Life Magazine

Prof. Elisabeth Kieven

Formerly co-director of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, at the Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome

Dr Jarl Kremeier

Berlin-based Art and Architectural historian, contributor to Macmillan’s Dictionary of Art

Dr Rebecca Lyons

Director of Collections & Learning, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London

Dr Magnus Olausson

Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, formerly Director of Collections 2011–2023

Dr Emily Roy

Curator at the National Trust, UK

Dr Frank Salmon

Director of the Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture at the University of Cambridge

Dr Ian Thompson

Formerly Reader in Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, at Newcastle University

Dr Simon Thurley

Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London

Svante Tirén

Curator of Collections at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm