Elizabeth of Bohemia: The Winter Queen
Past national programme archive
3 March - 14 December 2018
Montacute House, Somerset
Princess Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia and Electress Palatine
studio of Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt
circa 1623, based on a work of circa 1623
Elizabeth of Bohemia was an extraordinary political and cultural figure in seventeenth-century Europe. The daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England, at sixteen she was married to a German count, Frederick, Elector Palatine and was drawn into the European wars of religion when the Protestant Frederick was offered, and accepted, the crown of Bohemia. After little more than a year they were expelled from Prague by Catholic forces and forced to flee to the Netherlands. Elizabeth spend the rest of her life campaigning for the restitution of the German lands of the Palatinate, first to her husband and then to her children. Initially described in scorn as the ‘Winter Queen’ because her reign in Bohemia had lasted only a single winter, the term was adopted by her supporters as a sign of affectionate respect.
This special display exploring Elizabeth’s life and portraits has been developed in partnership with the National Trust as part of the year of events exploring ‘Women and Power’.