Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Recommended Books: Royal Jewels

I'll be honest. While I've collected royal books since I was a teenager, it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I developed an interest in Royal Jewels. Royal Jewels were the Crown Jewels - interesting, but who wants to stare at that all day? Royal Orders were just ribbons with pictures on them. Tiara's were just things royal brides wore on their wedding day. Luckily I've changed my views since then.

My article called Jewels fit for a Queen remains the most popular article I've ever written, followed closely by Royal Weddings. There are blogs and websites devoted to royal jewels, people just can't seem to get enough of them. Since I started my blog I've received some questions about royal jewels, here's one as an example. But sometimes I find that the question goes beyond my level of expertise (Yes, it's true, I don't know everything there is to know about royalty!). So if you want to know about royal jewels, where do you go for information? Thankfully there are some wonderful books out there.

The Royal Jewels by Suzy Menkes. This was the very first book I ever bought on the subject and it really and truly inspired me. Covering royal jewels from Queen Victoria's time to 1988. It is fairly comprehensive in terms of the highlights of the wearer, towards the end it features several Appendix, one of which lists all of the jewels worn by The Queen on State and Semi-State Occasions.

The Queen's Jewels: The Personal Collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Leslie Field.
I have poured over this book more so than any other book in my collection. That's how fascinated I am with it. This book features the personal jewellery collection of HM The Queen. If you've ever been curious about what she keeps in the vaults, this book will give you a very good idea. I would highly recommend this book as a good starting point on the subject.

Tiara's: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey C. Munn. If you're interested in tiara's and their history then this is the book for you. Covering tiaras from 300 BC to 2001, you could look at this book just for the close-up photographs alone. But there's more to it than that. It shows the evolution of tiara's. There's an entire chapter alone on how to wear tiara's in your hair! I won't lie though, this book is expensive but well worth the price if you're truly interested in the subject. There's also a more condensed version of this book which accompanied the exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.

Queens' Jewels by Vincent Meylan. Unlike the previous books I've mentioned, along with British jewels, it also covers royal jewels from Russia, France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Iran, Austria, Belgium and The Balkans. Yes there are more jewels out there than the British ones! It has a lot of intriguing, rarely seen photos and presents the various jewels and their history in vivid style.

© Marilyn Braun 2008

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