The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

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


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!.


Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

Test your skill

Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

Play today

Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

Start now