Elizabeth & Frederick: the 400th anniversary
On Valentine’s Day, 14th February 1613, Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I of England, married Prince Elector Frederick V of the Palatine in Whitehall Palace, London. At the time it was an arranged marriage of great political significance. However, the young couple also fell in love with each other. After the wedding festivities, which lasted for weeks, they travelled to Germany, arriving in Heidelberg in June 1613 to set up court in the Castle, where they lived for the next 6 years.
The town celebrated the arrival of Elizabeth Stuart in style and held the first fireworks display ever in Heidelberg, which are now a regular occurrence three times a year. Frederick made many changes to the Castle for his great love, including the erection of the English Wing, a round theatre for the performance of Shakespeare's plays, the 'Elisabethtor', and the building of the Hortus Palatinus. This was one legacy of their union; the other was dynastic - through their grandson, Georg of Hannover (who became George I) there is a direct link to the current royal family.
In 2009, the president of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft Rhine-Neckar, Ms. Nichola Hayton, started work on the idea of creating events to commemorate the 400th anniversary - in 2013 - of this union. In cooperation with various institutions both here in Heidelberg and in England, this project grew, and in June 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted her patronage to the series of celebratory events organised for 2013. The official letter from the British Ambassador in Berlin conveying this news was handed over to the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg by Ms. Hayton in October 2012 (see press releases below). The Lord Mayor of Heidelberg commented: “This is a great honour for our City and a very special expression of the friendship between our two nations.”
The official launch of the 400th anniversary celebrations
On the 14th February, 2013, the celebrations for the 400th anniversary were officially launched at Heidelberg Schloß.
Photo courtesy of Heidelberg Marketing.
In the Kaisersaal are pictured, from left to right: Herr M de Vries, Head of Heidelberg Marketing; Dr Fritz Oesterle, Honorary Consul; Ms Nichola Hayton, President of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft Rhein-Neckar e.V.; Dr Eckart Würzner, the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg; and Dr Dr Karl Lamers MdB.
International theatre project "The Road to Heidelberg"
Das internationale Theaterprojekt „The Road to Heidelberg“ wird von der Volksbank Kurpfalz H + G BANK gefördert. Begleitend dazu werden bis zum 16. August zwei Portrait-Gemälde des Paares von der Malerin Brigitte
Dietze in der Hauptstelle der Volksbank Kurpfalz H + G BANK in Heidelberg ausgestellt. Die Werke zeigen verschiedene Stimmungen und Charakteristisches des Kurfürsten und der englischen Königstochter.
Die Ausstellung kann von Montag bis Freitag von 08.30 – 16.00 Uhr sowie Donnerstag von 08.30 – 18.00 Uhr in der Volksbank Kurpfalz H + G BANK in der Hauptstraße 46 besucht werden.
Bildtext (v. l.): Renate Kinzinger (2. Vorsitzende, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft), Brigitte Dietz, Nichola Hayton (1. Vorsitzende, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft), Dieter Krämer (Regionalleiter, Volksbank Kurpfalz H + G BANK).