Royal tour by proxy
The embassy of Sultan Alauddin of Aceh to the Netherlands, 1601– 1603
in Royals on tour
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This chapter examines how presentation is managed when ambassadors are sent in place of the royal personage. Sultan Alauddin mounted instead a royal tour by proxy in which he was embodied, and concealed, in his gifts and in the humbler persons of his placeholders. Abdul Hamid, Alauddin's chief ambassador, was designated head of the embassy. In Aceh, Alauddin's proposal of a partnership between sovereign states has entered mythology, forged during decades of armed resistance to Indonesia's central government. The envoys presented Maurits with Alauddin's letter and a copy that had been carried on the second Zeeland ship in the convoy to the Netherlands as surety against mishap at sea. The Sultanate of Aceh and the Republic of the Netherlands were pivots of global trade and communications. The seaboard provinces hosted commercial companies that financed trade and navigation science, and outfitted fleets for long-distance voyages.

Royals on tour

Politics, Pageantry and Colonialism


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