Why was it important for the regent of the Netherlands to be unmarried? What is the connection between a Hungarian Queen and Luther? Why did Mary of Austria sign herself as Mary of Hungary? And why is it possible to create an exhibition about these queens full of empty glass boxes? In this interview, Chris Mielke speaks with Orsolya Réthelyi, a specialist in Early Modern Queenship, and explores unexpected facts from the lives of queens in Hungary and the Netherlands.

 The central person of the discussion is Mary of Austria, a Hungarian Queen, who was also a regent of Law Countries and an important figure in Habsburg politics. Orsolya Réthelyi tells how the queen dealt with wars, lack of money, and Reformation, and which unique personal documents can be found about her. Then, the discussion reveals the general patterns of queenship in the sixteenth century and the cultural transformations, which were the consequences of queens moving from one country to another. In addition, the professor reveals her recent research of songs about dying queens and how they show the personalities of these famous women and the acceptance of queens among subjects.

 Past Perfect! is CEU Medieval Radio’s show on medieval and early modern history and culture, where Christopher Mielke casually discusses with his guests various issues from the crusades to archeo-zoology to medieval urine sampling. The discussions are made with the aim to popularize medieval and early modern studies with the help of experts such as early musicians, historians, philologists and archeologists.

This episode was first recorded and broadcast in 2012.