The Favourite received ten Oscar nominations including Best Movie and Best Supporting Actress nominations for Rachel Weitz and Emma Stone. Olivia Coleman won the Oscar for Best Actress. When a movie gets this much attention it is sure to have an influence on future trends.
I rushed off to see The Favourite to immerse myself in 18th century architecture and interiors, which I have been studying for the past few months.
I love 18th century design and enjoyed the movie (perhaps because of this), but my hubby not so much. I don’t think he could imagine himself living in an era where he might have had to dress like this.
While mens fashions have changed dramatically (thank goodness), Queen Anne style remains popular to this day.
With this post I hope to give you a bit of of background on Queen Anne and the style that became synonymous with her, whether you see the movie or not.
Queen Anne Background
Queen Anne was the last monarch of the Stuart dynasty. She came to the throne after the death of her brother-in-law King William of Orange in 1702 ( her sister Queen Mary II died in 1694 ). She reigned for a short time from 1702 until her death at 49 years old, in 1714.
Queen Anne’s reign was dominated by personal tragedy. She had an arranged, but good marriage to Prince George of Denmark which resulted in 17 pregnancies. Sadly, twelve of these were miscarriages, four infants died and a sick son lived to the age of eleven. Prince George died in 1708.
Despite her health problems the Queen was popular and held considerable power. She presided over an age of artistic, literary, economic and political advancements made possible by the stability of her reign.
In 1704 John Churchill – the Duke of Marlborough – won the Battle of Blenheim, putting a halt to King Louis XIV and France’s expansionist plans. In gratitude the Queen gave Churchill land and funds to build Blenheim Palace. From the movie we now know what his wife was up to.
The Queen had many palaces but battling bouts of ill health, her preferred residence was Hampton Court Palace which was revamped with the help of architect Sir Christopher Wren. She loved gardens and nature.
Queen Anne Style Architecture
Her short reign had a big impact on architecture. The Queen Anne Style of architecture became the first fully developed style of domestic architecture in England and still remains popular today.
Architects combined classical motifs, like the pilaster, the cornice and similar details with brick (mostly red) and white sash windows to create the traditional 18th century house.
Queen Anne Style Interiors
A taste for comfort and elegance grew during this time and simple styles became more accessible. This meant beautiful interiors were no longer the reserve of the aristocracy and upper classes only.
Queen Anne Style at a glance:
- Queen Anne style was less chunky and “over the top” grand than previous styles, it was more “humanised’ and has been called graceful minimalism.
- Interiors were fairly basic with wood paneled walls (usually oak) .
- English craftsmen flourished during this time with elegant designs that were in stark contrast to the extravagant designs of the continent.
- Many of the furniture designs that originated during Queen Anne’s reign only became popular after her death.
- Curved lines and minimal ornamentation are characteristics of the style. Most notable is the cabriole or curved leg which is forever linked to Queen Anne style.
- Cabinets on stands were replaced by chests of drawers.
- The wing armchair took its place permanently in interiors.
- Upholstered pieces were covered in damask, needlepoint or crewel work featuring large flowers.
- Lighting was candlesticks and metal chandeliers lit by candlelight.
- During Anne’s reign tea drinking evolved into a very fashionable social ritual among the upper classes and this spurred a demand for all types of equipment related to tea. Although the Queen herself preferred hot chocolate.
- Fancy tea pots in silver and porcelain were imported and made locally. Tea drinking also made tilt top and drop leaf tables popular.
The Favourite was mostly filmed at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, with some scenes filmed at Hampton Court Palace. The visitor season at Hatfield House opens on April 6 and visitors will be able to follow the footsteps of the cast and crew.
If you haven’t see the movie, click here to see the trailer – The Favourite.
I for one am keen to see more curved and soft edges in design, it will be interesting to see if the movie makes an impact.
Have a wonderful week