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Royal Body Conference, Royal Holloway, 2-4 April 2012
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Royal Body Conference, Royal Holloway, 2-4 April 2012

4/2/2012 to 4/4/2012

When: 2–4 April 2012

The Royal Body Conference
2-4 April 2012
Royal Holloway University of London

‘For the King has in him two bodies … a Body natural and a Body politic.’

The idea of the king’s two bodies, the body natural and the body politic, founded on the distinction between the personal and mortal king and the perpetual and corporate crown, has long been of interest to scholars of medieval and early modern kingship. In later centuries the natural body of the monarch remained a contested site, with the life, health, sexuality, fertility and death of the king or queen continuing to be an important part of politics. Now royal sex and scandal is the very stuff that sells newspapers, and royal christening, weddings and funerals continue to capture the popular imagination. Indeed the ‘royal touch’ of Aids victims or sick children remains a potent image. So what is the significance of the natural body of the monarch to their subjects now and the importance of it for the concept, and survival, of monarchy?

This conference will explore the bodies of monarchs across Europe ranging from the medieval period to the present. By considering how the monarch’s body has been washed, dressed, used, anointed, hidden, attacked and put on display, it will investigate how ideas of king/queenship have developed over time.

Please see the conference website for more information and to register:

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