Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Favorite Royal Books

I have an extensive collection of books on the royal family. One look at my bookcases, floors and and bedside table, you will note that my tastes are anything but highbrow. I prefer informative, easy to understand books with nice pictures. So, to prove this point, I thought I would compile a short list of my favorite books. As a helpful aside, you can click on the titles to order them.

The Royal encyclopediaThe authoritative book of the Royal Family - Edited by Ronald Allison and Sarah Riddell. Sometimes the word for word source for Wikipedia articles this A to Z book covers Abbey Court, Holyroodhouse to Zoological Gardens, Regent Park and everything in between. 632 pages of royal information, no royal collection is complete without it. If you don't have it, then too bad for you. So rare, I can't even locate a picture of it. Suffice to say that it's heavy, has the title in gold letters and a nice close up of the Imperial State Crown. Some would say it's wine colored...Merlot?..Bordeaux?..oh never mind.

Queen Victoria's Family: A Century of Photographs by Charlotte Zeepvat. I love old photos and this book is chock-full of them. I'm surprised my copy isn't dog eared for all of the time I've..uhh..spent "reading" it. For me, one very interesting aspect of this book is watching various descendants grow from babies to old age.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to British Royalty A good standby, this book has rescued me from many a confused look when someone asks me a serious question about the relevance of the royal family and what they actually do. Hopefully the recently published The British Monarchy For Dummies will fill in any blanks and cover me in all awkward situations.

Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandraby Peter Kurth. Beyond the connection to the Brit's, the Russian royal family is not my forte. This book has beautiful pictures of the various palaces, and the royal family before it all went horribly wrong. The last chapter details the discovery of the Romanov remains and the process to authenticate them. It also has a modern day section on DNA analysis and attempts to answer the question: Was Anna Anderson the Grand Duchess Anastasia?

The Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II: Her Personal Collection by Leslie Field.This is one of my all-time favorite books. Authorized by Buckingham Palace it details the collection of Her Majesty The Queen. Broken down by type of stone, it has gorgeous photos of tiaras, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, along with the history behind these pieces.

Queen Elizabeth II: A Celebration of Her Majesty's Fifty-Year Reign
by Tim Graham. Released to coincide with the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Want to know where the Queen gets her shoes, hats, and coats made? Information on the endless round of engagements the Queen performs? How the Garden Parties are organized? Released in 2002 to coincide with the Golden Jubilee celebrations, this wonderful book tells you about this and much much more!

I could list many many more, but that's another article!

© Marilyn Braun 2007


Anonymous said...

I have "The Queen's Jewels" and it's great! I'm not terribly interested in jewelry, but this book is irresistible.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes, out of all of them I would say that's my favorite book too. My interest in them started when I bought this book.

As an aside to people who might be interested in jewels. Suzy Menkes has also written a book with more extensive information on royal jewels owned by the Duchess of Windsor, Sarah Ferguson, Diana, etc. Some of the information overlaps because Diana's jewels, save for the ones given to her as gifts while on tour, come from the collection of the Queen - specifically the beautiful Lover's Knot Tiara.