Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly’s project ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities 1500-1800‘ made it on the pages of the ‘Glamour’ pages – showing again the versatility of Early Modern Studies!
How Kate Middleton Behaves Exactly Like 16th-Century Princesses Did
Glamour, 18/07/2015, Danica Lo
Article on research by Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly of Oxford University, which has shown the surprising continuities in the role of queen consorts (princesses who marry the king) from 1500 to the present day. She said: ‘Princess Charlotte may become an Olympic sportswoman, study medicine, or start a company. Prince George’s wife will probably go on doing the same kinds of things that consorts have been doing for centuries.’
Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly said a princess-by-marriage’s duties include producing an heir to the throne, making public appearances in a manner befitting “her royal husband’s wealth and standing”, doing charitable work, and participating in religious activities. The queen consort also serves as an emotional touchstone for the nation. ‘We all saw how difficult things became for the monarchy in Britain when it seemed as if the Queen did not share her people’s feelings at Diana’s death,’ Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly said. ‘When a beautiful and beloved princess dies, the national outpouring of grief is part of the emotional connection the people feel for her and through her for the whole royal family.’
Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly is leading a three-year international study called ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities 1500-1800’.