Explore historic royal fashion in a free Future Learn online course


26 March 2018
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HRP---2.5-v1-67853.jpg Dr Sally Tuckett of the University of Glasgow in the main hall in the Banqueting House with live costumed interpreters (l-r) Emma and Victoria Credit Historic Royal Palaces, copyright University of Glasgow/Historic Royal Palaces
A new free online course called A History of Royal Fashion, developed in association with the University of Glasgow and Historic Royal Palaces, allows people to go behind the scenes of the royal wardrobes of Britain.

A new free online course called A History of Royal Fashion, developed in association with the University of Glasgow and Historic Royal Palaces, allows people to go behind the scenes of the royal wardrobes of Britain.

The free Future Learn course, which starts on 7 May 2018, will lay bare the style secrets of the power dressing Tudors, fashion-conscious Stuarts, and the complicated dress etiquette of the Victorians.

Dr Sally Tuckett, Lecturer in Dress and Textile Histories, University of Glasgow said: “Working with the team at Historic Royal Palaces has been a great opportunity to see how history, fashion, and space all come together.

“Seeing surviving historic garments, often in the palaces in which they were originally worn, offers a unique insight into the history of royal fashion and we are really excited to show everyone the stories and discussions that the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection can lead to.

“We’ve had a great response from people around the world with thousands of people already enrolled and we can’t wait to get started on the 7th May.”

Bringing fashion history to life

Dr Megan Gooch from Historic Royal Palaces added: “We are delighted to have joined forces with the University of Glasgow to explore the stories of royal fashion in this online course. We’ve worked together to share our expertise, collections and palace spaces to bring this fascinating subject to life.”

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Just like our own clothes, royal fashions over the centuries could be practical or functional, yet they also had a vital part to play in pageantry, iconography and even diplomacy. If you’ve ever worn that jumper you got for Christmas when the person who gave it to you visits, then you may have more in common with fashion royalty than you’d realise.

A History of Royal Fashion - course details

Taking place over five weeks, the online course will delve into the fashion hits and misses of some of history’s most well-known British royals. By studying the clothes worn in Britain's royal palaces, including items from the stunning Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace and the Tudor-era Bristowe hat – thought to have been worn by Henry VIII - at Hampton Court Palace, students will not just about the monarchs themselves, but also about their subjects and the times in which they lived.

The course includes a range of activities and materials which will bring to life the princely costumes of the past, encouraging learners to consider their links with clothing choices of today.

‌The course A History of Royal Fashion is open for enrolment and commences on 7 May 2018. Sign up and discover how historic kings and queens have used fashion and clothing to control, to entertain and to impress.

(image shows Dr Sally Tuckett of the University of Glasgow in the main hall in the Banqueting House with live costumed interpreters (l-r) Emma and Victoria Credit Historic Royal Palaces, copyright University of Glasgow/Historic Royal Palaces).