Art, Cultural Heritage

What will the Queen wear today?

If you are near Marymont (coming from the French expression meaning Mary’s Mountain), mention the famous Marysieńka, who was King Jan III Sobieski’s wife. He decided to build a palace for his beloved Marysieńka there. It was surrounded by a park with a pond, canals and long alleys. The Queen and her guests, who were attending banquets, used to walk around there. Today you can walk around Park Kaskada (Cascade Park) which is a remnant of the former estate.

When you’re there, you can show children the reproductions of some of the Queen’s portraits. You can also tell them why the Queen’s name was the only royal name in Polish history that was shortened. The future Queen arrived in Poland as a 4-years-old child. She was a lady-in-waiting in Queen’s Ludwika Maria’s manor. Ludwika Maria became a Queen by marrying King Władysław IV Waza. After assimilating Polish language and culture, Maria Kazimiera (that was full name of Queen Marysieńka) she received her epithet ‘Marysieńka’ from the Poles. And this is how she is still called throughout Polish history. However, today’s task will cover something completely different and this is the world of fashion!

MATERIALS

  • Annex 1 to be downloaded,
  • Annex 2,
  • scissors,
  • studs for paper or thread and needle,
  • paper,
  • marker pens.

Step 1

Download Annex 1 and show the children how diverse fashion was in the time of Queen Marysieńka and how frequently it was changing. Costumes were overloaded with valuable jewellery which was made of minerals and sometimes even bones. The train (tail) of the lady’s coat was carried by servants. Some people wore tall hair or platform shoes to look taller. Platform shoes were not popular in Poland, but high heels could be seen. Costumes were multi-layer. Ladies’ dresses had two parts: tight, stiffened upper part plus a skirt on farthingales. Farthingales were metal hoops sewn into petticoat. They shaped the skirt into a triangle. Later on, farthingales changed into a roller attached to the hips. Fashion had strict rules which had to be followed. You, however, can use your imagination and create your own costume for Queen Marysieńka.

Step 2

Proceed with the task. First, create a doll imitating the Queen. Download Annex 2 and print it on thicker paper (approximately 200 grams in weight). Print as many copies, as there are children in the group.

Cut out a silhouette and arms of the Queen. Attach her arms to the torso, using needle and thread or paper studs (available in a stationery store). Do it in the way presented on the drawing below (holes to attach arms are marked with numbers 3 and 4).

Queen Marysieńka not only looks beautiful now, but she also seems to come alive, as she’s moving her arms.

Now we can dress the Queen. Cut out the template of a skirt, duplicate it many times and colour them in different ways. You can get inspired by beautiful costumes from Annex 1.

When the skirts are ready, make small holes with the paper cutter. The holes will be used for putting the handgrips of the skirt – as it’s shown at the picture. The cuts for inserting the skirt are marked with numbers 1 and 2. This way the new costume will fit tightly to the silhouette of the Queen. Fun guaranteed for a couple of hours, not only for girls!

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The post was created as part of the project “Children get to know their district” financed by the capital city of Warsaw.

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