Keeping up with the Tudors and Stuarts: A Renaissance queen’s beauty guide

Looking flawless hundreds of years ago was no easy feat but, for royal women of Tudor and Stuart England, beauty was of extreme significance.  Beauty was closely associated with purity, goodness and even chastity. In a bid to uphold a righteous reputation, queens invested vast amounts of time and money to make themselves look wealthy, virtuous and gorgeous. 

Constrictive undergarments, resplendent fabrics and glittering jewels adorned their bodies, while elaborate and sometimes toxic beauty routines were used to complete their look. These women were constantly on show and keenly aware of the importance of appearances at all times. In this captivating talk Erin will examine the agonising pressure a royal woman endured to prove her superiority, health and wealth to the public eye.


Dr Erin Griffey is an associate professor of Art History at the University of Auckland and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London. She is a specialist in early modern visual and material culture and has published widely on the Stuart court. Her monograph, On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. She has appeared on the BBC’s Fake or Fortune as well as Charles I’s Treasures Reunited. She is also the co-author and editor of Sartorial Politics: Fashioning Women at the Early Modern Court.

6:30pm @Mezze bar, 9 Durham Street East, Auckland 1010

Also speaking at this location at 8:00pm is Thor Besier.