Life at court is like a fire; too close you are singed, too far you freeze.
The Swedish Diplomat Johan Adler Salvius (1644)

The Society for Court Studies was founded in London in September 1995 with the aim of stimulating and co-ordinating the study of royal and princely courts and households from antiquity to the present. It examines courts from a multi-disciplinary and international perspective, bringing together political, cultural, architectural, military, art, environmental and diplomatic history, and gender studies.

The Society organises regular seminars and conferences in London throughout the year. A separate branch of the Society was established in North America in September 1998. A European branch committee based in Copenhagen was established in 2020. The Society is linked to similar societies in Madrid, Versailles, Turin and Ferrara.

The Society’s journal The Court Historian is published three times a year and is the leading periodical for court studies. It presents new work by scholars on all dimensions of court life, from politics, palaces and embassies to dress, dining and gardens, along with a bibliography of recent publications relating to court history. Members receive The Court Historian three times a year, along with priority booking and special rates for our lectures and conferences.

Since June 2015 The Court Historian has been published in association with Taylor and Francis. It is now available online, giving access to twenty years of scholarship in this inter-disciplinary field. Individual articles and full issues can be viewed and downloaded at All members have access to this online resource. In addition, members enjoy exclusive access to the online bibliography of publications relating to court studies, maintained since 1999.