Book Series European Festival Studies: 1450-1700

Charles V, Prince Philip, and the Politics of Succession

Imperial Festivities in Mons and Hainault, 1549

Margaret McGowan, Margaret Shewring (eds)

  • Pages: 377 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:36 b/w, 36 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2021

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58615-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58616-8
  • E-book
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The renowned festivals for Prince Philip of Spain, in Italy and at Binche, are brought back to life in their political purpose, and their innovative artistic achievements exposed.


“This impressive anthology will be of considerable interest to students and historians whose curiosity in the areas of music, letters, philology, and ancient festivals leads them to consider the various modes of political symbolism and public representation during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period.” (John Nassichuk, in Renaissance et Réforme, 46/1, 2023,  p. 287-88)


Margaret M. McGowan CBE, FBA, is Research Professor at the University of Sussex. Her research interests centre on the intellectual, cultural and artistic concerns of early modern Europe. Her publications include: L'art du ballet de cour en France, 1581-1643 (1963); Montaigne's Deceits (1974); Ideal Forms in the Age of Ronsard (1986); The Vision of Rome in late Renaissance France (2000); and Dance in the Renaissance: European Fashion, French Obsession (2008). Her recent chapters on Renaissance festivals include 'Lyon: A centre for Water Celebrations', in Margaret Shewring (ed.) Waterborne pageants and Festivities in the Renaissance: Essays in Honour of J. R. Mulryne (2013), pp. 37-49; and 'Henri IV as Architect and Restorer of the State; His Entry into Rouen, 16 October, 1594', in J. R. Mulryne, and Maria Ines Aliverti, with Anna Maria Testaverde (eds) Ceremonial Entries in Early Modern Europe. The Iconography of Power (2015), pp. 53-75. She edited Dynastic Marriages 1612/1615. A Celebration of the Habsburg and Bourbon Unions, the first published volume in the series European Festival Studies: 1540-1700 (2013). She gave the Leopold Delisle lectures in 2012, and was awarded the Wolfson prize in 2008 and the CBE for services to French Studies in 1998.

Margaret Shewring is Reader in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Her teaching, research and recent publications concentrate on the performance context for Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Renaissance and Early Modern European Festivals and the design of space for performance on the contemporary stage. She was co-general editor of Europa Triumphans: Court and Civic Festivals in Early Modern Europe (2004, e-book 2010) and a co-investigator for the digitised collection of Renaissance Festival Books on the website of the British Library. She edited Waterborne pageants and Festivities in the Renaissance. Essays in Honour of J. R. Mulryne (2013). She is a co-founder of the Society for European Festaivals Research and joint general editor with the late J. R. Mulryne, Margaret M. McGowan and Marie-Claude Canova-Green, of the new Brepols Series of European Festival Studies.


This book is based on an international conference held in the capital of Hainault to celebrate the city of Mons as European Capital of Culture (2015). For the first time, through a range of interdisciplinary studies, the magnificent festivals created to honour Prince Philip of Spain as he journeyed across Europe to receive his sovereignty of the Low Countries are brought to life. The splendour of entries in the cities of Northern Italy (such as Genoa and Milan) was challenged by the civic allegories of triumph displayed throughout the Low Countries in Ghent, Antwerp, and Amsterdam. Outpacing all that magnificence were the entertainments prepared by Mary of Hungary at Binche: triumphal arches, martial feats of arms, balls, masquerades, and castle-stormings entertained Emperor Charles V and his son Prince Philip.

The essays in this volume reconstitute the political and social context of these extraordinary celebrations and focus on the purpose and role of festival in the changing political strategies of Charles V. They are illustrated with a total of 36 b&w and 36 colour images.

Contributors: Sydney Anglo, Francesca Bortoletti, Stijn Bussels, Tobias Capwell, José Eloy Hortal Muñoz, Félix Labrador Arroyo, Margaret M. McGowan, R. L. M. Morris, Jessie Park, Yves Pauwels, M. J. Rodríguez-Salgado, Margaret Shewring, Hugo Soly, Lisa Wiersma.


Acknowledgements, List of Illustrations, Editors and Contributors


Imperial Festivities in Mons and Hainault, 1549: Festivités impériales dans le Hainaut, 1549

Margaret M. McGowan and Margaret Shewring

Part I: Setting the Scene

Chapter 1. Prince Philip’s Itinerary across Europe, 1548–1550: An Overview

Margaret M. McGowan

Chapter 2. 1549: A Year of Grace for Emperor Charles V and His Subjects in the Low Countries

Hugo Soly

Chapter 3. The Transformation of Philip, Prince of Spain, into the Lord of the Low Countries

M. J. Rodríguez-Salgado

Chapter 4. The Entourage of Prince Philip in Connection with the Felicissimo Viaje: The Beginning of Burgundian Etiquette at the Spanish Court?

Félix Labrador Arroyo and José Eloy Hortal Muñoz

Part II: Entries

Chapter 5. Concordiam principum: The Triumphal Entry of Prince Philip into Milan (1548)

Francesca Bortoletti

Chapter 6. Prince Philip’s Entry into Ghent, 1549: History, Language, Architecture

Yves Pauwels

Chapter 7. The Importance of Being Present: The Performances of Prince Philip in Binche and Antwerp

Stijn Bussels

Part III: Décor

Chapter 8. The Enchantment of Woven Surfaces: The Seven Deadly Sins Tapestries and Habsburg Propaganda in Binche, 1549

Jessie Park

Chapter 9. Garden of Cast Flowers: The ‘Enchanted Salon’ and the Making of Sculptures for Festivals

Lisa Wiersma

Part IV: Entertainments

Chapter 10. The Tournament at Binche

Sydney Anglo

Chapter 11. Theatre of War: Armoured Combat at the Festivals of Binche

Tobias Capwell

Chapter 12. Masquerades at Binche: A New or Traditional Spectacle?

Margaret M. McGowan

Epilogue: Munich 1568

Fashioning Identities in Habsburg-ruled Lands: The 1568 Wedding of Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, and Renée, Duchess of Lorraine

R. L. M. Morris


Prince Philip’s Journey Across Europe, 1548–1550: A Timetable of Dates and Places