Royal chapels

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This article is about royal chapels in general. For the English court establishment, see Chapel Royal.

A Chapel Royal is a body of priests and singers who serve the spiritual needs of their sovereign wherever they are called upon to do so.


The Hofburg chapel, Vienna

The Royal Court Boys Choir was subsidised by the Royal Private School.
Following the collapse of the monarchy the Choir, part of the Hofkapelle (court musicians), was closed in 1920. In 1924 the Royal Court Choir was reinstated as the Vienna Boys Choir and permanently settled in the Royal Court Chapel. After 1926 to consolidate the financial position of the Vienna Boys Choir the Royal Court Chapel organised a wide range of singing engagements outside their own programme. The Choir remains in world-wide demand to the present day.[1]



Choir of the Chapel Royal, Copenhagen.[2]


Versailles' chapel as seen from the tribune royale, where the king and members of the royal family heard Mass
Main article: Chapelle royale

The musical establishment attached to the royal chapel of the French kings, the Chapel Royal was founded in the time of the Merovingian kings and reached its zenith under the Old Regime. Under the direction of a clergyman, the Master of the Chapel, the staff included undermasters in charge of rehearsals and the composition of royal masses, an organist, cornetists and around thirty singers and choristers, as well as masters who taught music to the children.

The establishment grew during the reign of Louis XIV to include castrati and women, and the many instruments needed to perform motets. By the death of King Louis XIV, in 1715, the Chapel Royal had a total of 110 singers (sopranos, castrati, haute-contres, tenors, baritones and bass) and 20 instrumentalists (violin and viola, bass violin, theorbo, flute, oboe, bass cromorne, serpent and bassoon)
Chapelle du château de Versailles


The Chapel Royal of Naples, under the rule of Aragon, then of Habsburg Spain, the Bourbons and finally Joseph Napoleon, was the centre of sacred music in southern Italy.


Main article: Capela Real


Main article: Capilla Real
Main article: Capilla Flamenca
The Royal Palace of Madrid

There are several chapels in Spain designated by the sovereign as chapels royal (Spanish: Capilla Real), including the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Madrid and the Royal Chapel of Granada. Formerly, the Flemish chapel was used separately by the Spanish kings and queens (who also ruled parts of the Low Countries in the 16th century) through the reigns of Charles V, Philip II, Philip III, and Philip IV, until 1637,[3] when it was merged into the capilla real española.


The Royal Chapel, Stockholm.[4]

United Kingdom[edit]


  1. ^ "Austria". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  2. ^ "Denmark". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  3. ^ Ruiz-Jiménez, Juan (2001). "The Mid-Sixteenth-Century Franco-Flemish Chanson in Spain. The Evidence of Ms. 975 of the Manuel de Falla Library". Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis) 51 (1): 25. JSTOR 939226. 
  4. ^ "Sweden". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 

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