The Oxford Queen: Queen Caroline of Ansbach
Educated at the court of Prussia by scholars such as Gottfried Leibniz, Queen Caroline (1683-1737) became a lifelong supporter of arts and education. In her later life as the wife of King George II, she surrounded herself with artists, writers, and intellectuals. She engaged herself in propagating freedom for the press and freedom of speech in parliament.
Voltaire said about her: “I must say that despite all her titles and crowns, this princess was born to encourage the arts and the well-being of mankind…”
As the patroness of Queen´s College, she supported the completion of the college’s south quadrangle. In her honour a statue of her was placed in the cupola above the main entrance.
Queen´s College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, founded in 1341 in the name of Queen Philippa of Hainault by Robert de Eglesfield.
The college is famous for its library, which dates back to the 14th century. Aside from having an impressive number of 50,000 lending volumes, the library has a large collection of rare books of around 100,000 copies in the antiquarian collection.
The upper library, built at the end of the 17th century, has been included in many lists of the best and most beautiful libraries in the world.
The college is furthermore notable for The Eglesfield Musical Society, the oldest college musical society in Oxford, and for having one of the oldest boat clubs in the world, founded in 1827.