Kings & Queens Conference – Ruling Sexualities: Sexuality, Gender and the Crown – Call for Papers

The Kings & Queens conference series will be hosted by Historic Royal Palaces and the University of Winchester for its seventh edition on 9-12 July 2018. The first day will be held at Hampton Court Palace with the remaining days at the University of Winchester.

We aim to connect scholars across the world whose research focuses on topics related to royal history, diplomacy, art history, political history, biographical studies or any other issues included in the scope of royal studies. This edition of the Kings and Queens conference will have a particular focus on gender and sexuality as central themes. We are especially interested in studies relating to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and the role of sexuality and gender to royal histories.

We look to gain an understanding of the perceptions, practices and legacies of gender and sexual identities relating to monarchs, royals and their courts, realising that these may have been very different in historic periods to our contemporary understandings. All topics related to these issues will be welcomed, from diverse chronological periods and parts of the world. We hope that interpretation of these topics for the public in heritage contexts will form a particular focus of the day at Hampton Court Palace.

We also welcome papers which are unrelated to our central theme and subtopics but contribute more widely to the field of royal studies.

The following list includes potential topics for papers, panels or posters, which are suggested as inspiration. Proposers should not feel limited by these topics and we welcome a broad range of ideas and interpretations.

Perceptions and Performance

• The self-representation of monarchs, royals and courtiers

• Royal and court fashion, including cross-dressing

• The construction and definition of royal sexual and gender identities, including LGBTQ identities, heterosexuality and straight identities

• Asexuality and virgin monarchs


• The lives and roles of companions and influencers, including concubines, mistresses and same-sex favourites

• The biographies of LGBTQ monarchs, royals and courtiers

• Propaganda around sexuality and gender identity, whether positive or negative

• Concealed, illicit or hidden royal relationships

• Close same-sex friendships


• The posthumous perception and representation of royal sexuality and gender identity, and how this defines legacy and dynasty

• The changing historiography and perception of royal sexuality, gender identity and LGBTQ histories

• The interpretation of royal gender and sexuality in museum and heritage contexts

The conference will include both paper sessions and a poster session at Hampton Court Palace to highlight the developing research of students and early career scholars. Please note that postgraduate students and early career scholars are welcome to give either posters at the Hampton Court session or papers in the general sessions at Winchester, depending on their preference.

Individual proposals should indicate whether it is for a poster or paper and include a title, institutional affiliation, an abstract of 250-300 words and a short, one page CV or biography. For panels, the proposal should include a maximum of four different papers accompanied by the same information required for individual proposals and a short rationale of approximately 100 words for the panel. If the panel has an institutional or societal sponsor, please include this with the panel proposal.

All proposals should be submitted by 31 December 2017, to and any queries about the conference can also be directed to this address