Rule, Britannia! Frederick, Prince of Wales and Music in the 18th Century

Past beyond the gallery archive
1 March 2011 - 7 February 2012

Beningbrough Hall


  • Partnership exhibition

The eighteenth century gave us some of the most famous pieces of classical music in Britain. Frederick Prince of Wales (1707–51) was central to this phenomenon. Arriving in England from his native Germany in 1728, Frederick was an enthusiastic and talented musician. He also supported a variety of London's musicians, promoted the British taste for both Italian opera and English anthems, and helped establish Britain as a centre of progressive music and patronage. In so doing, the Prince of Wales attempted to forge an identity for himself that was not only cultured and patriotic but distinctly British, thus distancing himself from his German heritage.

This display explores Frederick as a musician and patron who was responsible for some of the eighteenth century’s most memorable operas and anthems, including the patriotic song Rule, Britannia!.

Beningbrough Hall
The Conservation of Frederick Prince of Wales, The Music Party NPG 1556

Share this