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Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

June 14, 2019

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

I absolutely love fashion history, I’ve always enjoyed visiting museums and looking at all the gorgeous clothes and learning more about them. I’ve also always been really interested in royal history and some of my favourite books are about royal history and fashion. So I was really excited that Historic Royal Palaces and The University of Glasgow are offering a free online course all about the history of Royal Fashion. They asked me if I could write about the course on the blog and I thought it was definitely something some of my readers would love to get involved with.

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

Claire Collins,1730-40,Emerald green silk brocade shoe with a design of formalised flowers in white silk. The shoe has an up-turned toe and a Louis heel

The course runs from 24th June for 5 weeks, and looks at the social climates and background to the sartorial choices of past monarchs. It helps us to connect to their history and to gain a new appreciation for gorgeous fashions of the past. I cannot wait to give it a go and learn as much as possible about royal fashion. It’s definitely one to bring my inner history and fashion geeks together! And even better my brother Matthew, who is a curator at HRP is involved and features in some of the course content, so I get to have my proud sister moment too!

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces is a charity that looks after some of Britains finest royal residences, including Hampton Court, The Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and The Banqueting House. They hold a huge ever growing collection of royal clothing in their stores, allowing them to understand and interpret so much of the history of the people who wore them. Nothing says more about us than the clothing we wear and it’s an amazing way to look at people from the past. I’m very much looking forward to learning more about the items from the people who study and look after them every day.

“Through rich video content, the course allows learners from across the world to explore some of the greatest palaces ever built – the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Banqueting House on Londonโ€™s Whitehall โ€“ and the fashion styles that were popularised within them. In week one, discover the intriguing story of the Tudor-era โ€˜Bristowe hatโ€™, which at over 500 years old is said to have once been worn by Henry VIII himself. Then skip forward around 100 years to learn about Charles Iโ€™s jerkin, believed to been left behind at Aldenham after the Battle of Naseby in 1645. One of the most decisive battles of the English Civil Wars, this sleeveless leather jacket offers participants a glimpse into the wardrobe of the King at this crucial moment in British history. Week three will trace the evolution of the elaborate Georgian mantua and uncover what it can tell us about courtiers and the wealthy elite at the time, while week four promises to debunk the myth that Queen Victoria only wore black.ย  The final week is dedicated to the โ€˜Windsor styleโ€™, and how the short-lived reign of the fashion conscious Edward VIII influenced a more casual style for monarchy in the twentieth century”

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

Learn About the History of Royal Fashion with a Free Course from Historic Royal Palaces

Zandra Rhodes (1940-),1985,Silk chiffon and satin evening dress with bead trimming worn by Diana, Princess of Wales

It all sounds absolutely fascinating!

The course starts on 24th June, so there’s plenty of time to sign up, and as it’s free and online you can do it at your own pace. It’s a great opportunity to learn a bit more and broaden your knowledge of both royal history and fashion. I’ll be taking part, so let me know if you’re doing it too so we can discuss!

How to take part:

Visit the Future Learn website to sign up and follow #FLRoyalFashion for the latest updates.ย 


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  • Reply
    Bev
    June 24, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for sharing this Catherine, the Future Learn courses tend to be very good. (Totally unrelated but I highly recommend the Norwegian course delivered by the Uni of Oslo). Well done to the University of Glasgow for allowing people the opportunity to learn and understand more about historical costume for free. If you sell or collect antique or vintage clothing, it’s an ongoing learning curve.

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