Book Series Musicology (Outside a Series)

British Royal Weddings: From the Stuarts to the Early Twentieth Century

Matthias Range

  • Pages: 382 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:32 b/w, 40 col., 0 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022


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In-depth study of the ceremonies of British royal weddings from the early-modern period to the early twentieth century.

BIO

Matthias Range has published widely in both history and music, with the focus of his interdisciplinary research being sacred music and religious culture since the sixteenth century. An area of particular interest is the history of the British monarchy, which is the topic of his major publications. He currently works as a post-doctoral researcher for the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford.

Summary

This is the first comprehensive, in-depth study of the history and ceremonial at British royal weddings from the late sixteenth century onwards. Focusing on the actual wedding service, it overall follows the three main aspects of the choice of venue, the structure of the ceremonial, and the music of these events up to the early twentieth century.

Many newly discovered sources have allowed for new insights and conclusions. While the religious changes of the Reformation did not significantly affect actual wedding rites, there are other notable changes detectable in these ceremonies over the following centuries. For instance, there was the shift from being important state occasions to more reclusive, so-called ‘private’ ceremonies after the Restoration – with a change to grand court occasions in the Georgian and then to greater publicity in the later Victorian era.

This study pays particular attention to the music: being so closely linked with the performance of these ceremonies, music presents itself as an intriguing aspect for discussing the ceremonial details. Since the eighteenth century, at least some royal weddings have also been notable musical occasions and since Victorian times they have clearly influenced the choices at other weddings.

With its holistic approach and interdisciplinary character, this study is an extensive resource for those with an interest in music and in a wider range of other topics related to British royal weddings. It presents the most complete account to date of how these magnificent occasions were celebrated.