EMPRESS AND EMPIRE
CEREMONY, MEDIA AND RULE, 1550 TO 1740
Empress and Empire – two resounding conceptsand at the same time terra incognita. Little research has so far been conducted on the Habsburg empresses of the Holy Roman Empire, who were also queens of Hungary and Bohemia. The famous exception is Maria Theresa, who is primarily remembered as 'mother of the nation’ within the Habsburg Monarchy.
The research project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund, shifts the focus to the women who bore the title of Empress before Maria Theresa and in particular investigates the ceremonial and power position of the empress. The project concentrates in particular on the coronation ceremonies: six Habsburgs were crowned as empress in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while almost all of the 15 imperial consorts were crowned in Bohemia and Hungary.
Besides the preparation of these events, their ceremonial order and symbolic significance, the media echo is taken into account. Reports in the contemporary press, printed accounts and visual representation such as images on coins and medals, etchings and paintings, also receive attention.