Farthingales began as graceful supports that flattered the wearer with an A-line skirt. Now, especially in England, farthingales became grotesque with the skirt hanging from a circular wheel to form an awkwardly wide cylinder with the bodice and headdress protruding above it. France was more elegant by hiding the wheel.
England started to become the United Kingdom when Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 without producing an heir. A new ruler was needed. The closest suitably Protestant person was James VI of a long-standing enemy, Scotland. James VI went south to become James I of England. However, Catholic-Protestant tension continued throughout the 1600s and beyond. Religious tensions proved lethal for Charles I and drove James II out of the country.
The third Subalbum covers Queen Elizabeth of England whose reign extended from the middle of the sixteenth century into the beginning of the next. The wheel (or drum) farthingales are what many think of as “Elizabethan” fashion.