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The Royal Courts of Europe

What: The Splendour and Grandeur of the Courts in Europe
Where: Grimaldi Forum
When: 11 July to 11 September
Entry: €12/€8
Contact: +377 99 99 30 00, 12-7pm, Tue to Sat.

For many hundreds of years, the history of Europe both in war and peacetime has been determined by a handful of elected and hereditary monarchs and the courts which surrounded them. Now, to coincide with the wedding of the Prince of Monaco, the Grimaldi Forum is hosting an impressive exhibition covering the history of the twenty royal courts of Europe from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.

More than seventy private and public collections, including items from the royal palaces themselves, have been brought together for this unique occasion. Curated by Catherine Arminjon, Monaco’s Director of Heritage, the two-month-long exhibition covers the life and times of some of the greatest names in European history and sets the context for the celebrations of the current generation of Monaco’s ruling Grimaldi family.

Portraits, sculptures, objets d’art, furniture, porcelain, silver and gold, costumes and jewellery – some 700 exhibits in all – bring to life the individuals and couples who left their mark on the histories of their dynasties and countries. Many were not simply rulers, but contributed widely to the fields of the arts, history and science, and these areas will form a large part of the display, as well as archive film, both documentary and dramatic.

Among the royal families represented in the exhibition are those of

  • Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland
  • Frederick I, first King of Prussia, and Queen Sophia Charlotte
  • Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, and his grandson, Ludwig II
  • Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth of Austria
  • Christian IV and Christian IX of Denmark
  • Philip V of Spain, grandson of Louis XIV, and Elizabeth, heir to the fabulous Farnese collections
  • Napoleon and Josephine and the first French Empire
  • Prince Nicholas Esterhazy, a great collector and Joseph Haydn’s patron
  • Luís I, King of Portugal, and Queen Maria Pia
  • Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and her consort Prince Albert
  • Gustavus III, King of Sweden
  • Tsar Alexander II who launched the vogue for imperial Russian holidays on the French Riviera
  • Leopold I, first King of the Belgians
  • Haakon VII, first King of Norway following the dissolution of the union with Sweden
  • John III Sobieski, elected King of Poland, victor over the Turks at Vienna
  • Charles, King of Naples, who launched the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii
  • Victor Amadeus II, King of Sicily and of Sardinia
  • Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • The Grimaldis, Princes of Monaco

To complement this ambitious exhibition, the Grimaldi Forum will offer educational workshops for young people from 6-14 years from July 11.

This article originally appeared in CityOut Monaco

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