Winterqueen /
After three years of research in 1986 Willem Jan Hoogsteder published his doctoral thesisabout the art collection of Frederik V and Elizabeth Stuart, King and Queen of Bohemia, who lived in Heidelberg and Holland. Hoogsteder has been a particular fan of the Winterking and Winterqueen ever since. He staged an exhibition, wrote articles, contributed to museum exhibitions and hosts websites to keep their memory alive.

The story of the Winterking and Winterqueen can be read at the bottom of this page.

Hoogsteder exhibition
In 2013 Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder staged an exhibition entitled Elizabeth & Frederik: 400th Wedding Anniversary of the Winterqueen and Winterking.

Lease Winter Queen exhibition >

Read exhibition newspaper >

Der Winterkönig
In the catalogue of the exhibition Der Winterkönig (Amberg 2003) an article was published by Willem Jan Hoogsteder in which he describes how paintings may have hung at Frederick and Elizabeth’s palace in Rhenen.

Read article in Dutch >    Read article in German >

Doctoral thesis
The Winterking and Winterqueen acquired an extensive collection of paintings, furniture, silver, tapestries, books and other valuable objects. In his doctoral thesis for Utrecht University, De schilderijenverzameling van Frederik en Elizabeth, Koning en Koningin van Bohemen (Utrecht / London, 1986) , Willem Jan Hoogsteder discusses all paintings connected to the royal couple.

Part I

  1. Deel I
  2. Deel I Inleiding
  3. Deel I Historische Achtergrond
  4. Deel I Frederik en Elizabeth en de cultuur van hun tijd
  5. Deel I Bespreking van het Bronnenmateriaal
  6. Deel I Catalogue Raisonne
  7. Deel I Notenlijst

Part II

  1. Deel II Uittreksels en Concordanties van het Bronnenmateriaal
  2. Deel II Inventaris Koningshuis te Rhenen 1633 en 1661
  3. Deel II Catalogus Combe Abbey 1769
  4. Deel II Catalogus Combe Abbey 1866
  5. Deel II Catalogus Combe Abbey 1916

Part III

  1. Deel III Afbeeldingen

The story of the Winterking and Winterqueen
Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of England, Ireland and Scotland became known as the Winterqueen. Her official title was Queen of Bohemia. The Winterqueen outlived her husband by 30 years and became a popular historical figure.

Elizabeth married Frederick V, Elector Palatine, in 1613. They were the same age – which was rare for royal couples at the time – and remained deeply in love for the rest of their lives. In 1613, the newlyweds moved into Frederick’s lavish castle at Heidelberg. Later, in 1619, the couple were elected king and queen of Bohemia and they took up residence at the immense Hradschin Palace in Prague. Emperor Ferdinand was not pleased and sent troops to oust them from ‘his’ Bohemia. No match for the mighty emperor, the couple left Prague within the year. In their propaganda, the Jesuits referred to Frederick and Elizabeth as having been king and queen for a winter. It was the sad truth and the name stuck.

Forced to flee, the couple came to Holland, arriving at The Hague in 1621. Frederick’s mother was a daughter of William of Orange, so the Orange princes Maurits and Frederick Henry were direct cousins. At The Hague, the royal couple moved into Wassenaer Hof on Kneuterdijk, the home confiscated from Jan van Oldenbarneveldt. The royals lived in great splendour, well beyond their means. Fortunately for them, their influence grew when one of Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting, an impoverished German countess, married Frederick Henry. She was Amalia van Solms, soon the most powerful woman in Holland.

Several years later, the Winterking commissioned Bartholomeus van Bassen to transform the derelict Cunera cloister at Rhenen into a hunting lodge. Frederick enjoyed it for barely a year. He died in 1632, on campaign in Germany. Elizabeth dressed in black the rest of her life, and never stopped lobbying to reclaim her Palatinate realm. Following the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, her son Charles Louis was finally reinstated. Elizabeth had always wanted to return to England, but was prevented by the Civil War. Only after Charles II was restored was she able. Yet once again she was prevented, now by local commercial interests, to whom she owed a combined debt of 900,000 guilders. The States General and the English king came to an arrangement and in 1661 Elizabeth finally returned to her native England. She died within the year and was buried at Westminster Cathedral with a state funeral.

In 1714, one of her grandsons became king of England: George I. Her most illustrious son was certainly Prince Rupert of the Rhine.


Photos left

Portrait miniature of Elizabeth by Isaac Oliver, detail.
Portrait of Elizabeth dressed in black with pearls, detail.
Keur baert Angst by Jan van Goyen and Jacob van der Merck, detail.


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Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder

Lange Vijverberg 15
2513 AC The Hague
The Netherlands



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