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The Portrait Of Lady Katherine Grey And Her Son: Iconographic Medievalism As A Legitimation Strategy

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Chapter Summary

The portraits of Lady Katherine Grey have never, up to now, triggered a scholarly debate or excited the public's interest. Although Lady Katherine Grey was no queen, the miniature of herself and her son is the result of a conscious and daring attempt to utilize medieval iconographic traditions as a legitimation strategy. It campaigns for the validation of her controversial marriage and the recognition of her son as the lawful heir to her place in the line of succession as the senior representative of the House of Suffolk. When Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558, Lady Katherine was next in line according to the regulations made by her great-uncle King Henry VIII. The Belvoir Miniature, which was for unknown reasons mislabelled as Lady Elizabeth Seymour and her son as late as 1913, is undoubtedly the original portrait.

Keywords: Belvoir Miniature; iconographic medievalism; Lady Katherine Grey; legitimation strategy



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