In the introduction the author illustrates the complex symbolism of the ancient rite of the rose, indicative of the hierarchical relationship between spiritual and temporal power. She notes that in modern times the rite was divided into two phases: one was characterized by the anointing and blessing of the flower by the pontiff; the other consisted in conferring the prestigious tribute to an authoritative supporter of religion and the Church. The author focuses on the second ceremonial moment and analyzes the conferment of the gift sent by Benedict XIV to the first queen of the Two Sicilies, Ma ria Amalia of Saxony, with the hope of favoring, through her, the relations between Rome and Naples. The ceremony did not take place publicly, but in reserved spaces and in the presence of a few participants. Therefore, it diverged from a consolidated model intended to represent the sacred genesis of the royal power in front of the exultant subjects. The Neapolitan event denoted a transformation of courtly culture that was emerging in other European courts and that aimed to progressively separate the public sphere from the private and to guarantee to the rulers an intimate space where to express personal feelings and emotions.
Keywords: Ceremonial; Golden Rose; Kingdom of Naples; 18th century; Bourbon Court; Maria Amalia of Saxony