The Programme

“Monarchical Succession and the Political Culture

of 19th-Century Europe”


Parliament Hall, University of St Andrews, 30 – 31 August 2013

(please click here for the pdf version of the Programme)


This conference focuses on the political roles played by heirs to the throne within their respective dynastic systems across a largely monarchical Europe.

Hereditary rule meant that heirs to the throne were a crucial component of monarchical systems. At every point in the nineteenth century, millions of Europeans knew with a high degree of certainty the identity of the next holder of the most exalted office in the land. While heirs anticipated the end of the current reign, they embodied both dynastic continuity and the inevitability of change at the very apex of the system. Depending on the specific political, cultural and constitutional contexts as well as on the individuals involved, crown princes and princesses could either consolidate or undermine the status quo, play momentous or insignificant roles, appear high-profile or almost imperceptible, embody change or continuity.

The study of heirs will offer new insights into the politics and political cultures of Europe during the Long Nineteenth Century. This conference aims at investigating comparatively the contribution made by heirs to the thrones to the functioning and malfunctioning, rigidity and suppleness, successes and shortcomings of the constitutional monarchies whose future pivoted on them. Heirs will be used as prisms to explore Europe’s monarchical systems, the institutions, agencies, groups and individuals engaged in either sustaining or challenging them. The conference explores the societies and cultures within which heirs existed and operated, in which they were instrumentalised and commemorated.

Einzug des Kronprinzen Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen in Jerusalem 1869, by Wilhelm Gentz (1876)



Friday, 30 August 2013

9.00                 Welcome / Introduction (Frank Müller and Heidi Mehrkens)

9.30-10.30       Keynote Lecture I

Catherine Brice, Université Paris-Est Créteil, CRHEC: What kind of fathers are constitutional Kings? Reflections on Kingship in 19th-century France and Italy

Coffee and Tea

11.00-12.30     Panel 1            Personal agency and structural change     

Chair: Maria Christina Marchi

  • Ala Creciun, Budapest: Alexander III – the Making of a ‘Russian’ Tsar: Nationalism as a New Source of Legitimacy in the Late Romanov Empire
  • Valentina Villa, Milan: Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples: a suitable heir for a new century
  • Günther Kronenbitter, Augsburg: Emperors-in-waiting – Intra-dynastic Opposition in the late Habsburg Monarchy

Panel Discussion


14.00-15.30     Panel 2            Succession as challenge        

Chair: Miriam Schneider

  • Christoph de Spiegeleer, Brussels: Premature deaths of heirs to the throne in Belgium throughout the 19th century: crisis and scandal
  • Jes Fabricius Møller, Kopenhagen: The Domestication of Dynasty – the challenges of a German successor to the Danish Throne in the mid-19th Century
  • María del Carmen López Sanchez, Madrid : The Spanish succession crisis following the death of Alphonse XII

Panel Discussion

Coffee and Tea

16.00-17.30     Panel 3            Courtly Context: Heirs, entourage and soft power

Chair: Heidi Mehrkens

  • Eberhard Fritz, Altshausen: Education and the Rituals of Monarchy in the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg. Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Crown Prince Karl, and Prince Wilhelm in comparison
  • Richard Kurdiovsky, Vienna: The Spatial and Architectonical Presence of Heirs to the Throne – the Apartments of Habsburg’s Crown Princes in the Viennese Hofburg in the Long 19th Century
  • Pedro Urbano, Lisbon: The Royal household and the Heirs’ entourage: Portugal at the end of the constitutional monarchy

Panel Discussion


17.45-18.45     Keynote Lecture II                (Psychology Seminar Room 1)

Christopher Clark, Cambridge: Father-Son Relations in the Hohenzollern Dynasty


Conference Dinner

Saturday, 31 August 2013

9.30-11.00       Panel 4            Heirs in the Great War  

Chair: Richard Meyer Forsting

  • Heather Jones, London: A Prince in the Trenches? Edward VIII and the Great War
  • Lothar Machtan, Bremen: Claims to the throne in Baden and to the chancellorship in Berlin: The political tragedy of the two ambitions of Prince Max of Baden
  • Katharine Lerman, London: ‘For the greater glory of Crown Prince Wilhelm’: A Hohenzollern in Conflict 1914-1918

Panel Discussion

Coffee and Tea

11.15-12.00     Round Table / Final discussion

Chair: Philip Mansel, London