The Instrumentalization of Courtly Privacy in the Context of the Wedding Celebrations of Emperor Leopold I in 1676

Claudia Curcuruto
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 12 Issue 2  (2023):3–36 DOI 10.38145/2023.2.279

According to the wishes of Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi and his representative at the imperial court, Francesco Buonvisi (1675–1689), Leopold I married the candidate they favored: Eleonora Magdalena of Palatinate-Neuburg. The emperor’s third wedding and the subsequent wedding festivities were held in Passau on December 14, 1676 in an absolutely private manner and without the intervention of the secular diplomats or the apostolic nuncio. The private staging of the sposalizio contrasts not only with the norms of the traditions of the imperial court with regards to ceremony, but also with the public staging of the emperor’s two previous weddings. Against this background, this article considers the possible functions that can be attributed to the private in this context and how the preferential treatment of the house of “Pfalz-Neuburg” can be interpreted in relation to the ceremonial norms of the imperial court. In this regard, the nunciature’s correspondence and their manifold interconnections thus represent essential sources which shed light on the mechanisms of “privacy” in diplomacy, as well as the shifting importance and meanings of the ceremonial norms of the imperial court.

Keywords: Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi, Francesco Buonvisi, Eleonora Magdalena of Palatinate-Neuburg, Apostolic Nunciature of Vienna, imperial court, Leopold I, marriage in early modern period, privacy

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