'An entertaining jog through 38 coronations.' - Daily Telegraph
Get the best seat in the abbey. From the crowning of Charles III, thirty-nine coronations have been held in Westminster Abbey since the Norman Conquest. Only two monarchs – Edward V and Edward VIII – were uncrowned, and a further twenty or so Scottish monarchs were crowned elsewhere, usually at either Scone Abbey or Holyrood Abbey.
In The Throne, Ian Lloyd turns his inimitable, quick-witted style to these key events in British royal history, providing fascinating anecdotes and interesting facts: William the Conqueror’s Christmas Day crowning, during which jubilant shouts were mistaken by his guards as an assassination attempt; the dual coronation of William and Mary in 1689; the pared-back ‘Half Crown-ation’ of William IV; and the televised spectacle of Elizabeth II’s 1953 ceremony.
Detailing everything from the famous Coronation Chair made for Edward I and the Crown Jewels to the infamously uncomfortable Gold State Coach – this is a truly spectacular celebration of British culture and the ultimate pomp of royalty.
A right royal read. At the time of Elizabeth II’s accession, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States and Joseph Stalin still governed the Soviet Union. It has often been said that she never put a foot wrong during her seven decades as monarch, and even those ideologically opposed to Britain and its governments have lauded her. Remarkably, she retained her relevance as sovereign well into her nineties, remaining a reassuring constant in an ever-changing world.
In The Queen, Royal biographer Ian Lloyd reveals the woman behind the legend over seventy themed chapters. Drawing on interviews with relatives, friends and courtiers, he explores her relationship with seven generations of the royal family, from the children of Queen Victoria to Elizabeth’s own great-grandchildren. He also sheds light on some lesser-known aspects of her character, such as her frugality and her gift for mimicry. In addition, we see her encounters with A-listers, from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, and her adept handling of several of the twentieth century’s most difficult leaders.
Above all, Lloyd examines how the Queen stayed true to the promise she made to the nation at the age of 21,
‘that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service’.
'Witty and well-researched' - Daily Express
'A fascinating profile' - Daily Telegraph
For seven decades the Duke of Edinburgh was the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’, far surpassing the predictions of courtiers who had feared ‘a foreign interloper out for the goodies’. Journalists continually portrayed him as bluff and gaffe-prone – yet the letters he wrote in private show he had a kind and sensitive side. Drawing on extensive interviews with those who knew him best, The Duke reveals the man in all his endlessly fascinating contradictions. While tracing his characteristic self-reliance back to a difficult childhood and six years’ war service, Ian Lloyd highlights some rare aspects of the royal consort’s personality – from his fondness for Duke Ellington to his fascination with UFOs. The result is a portrait like no other, and a rich tribute to Prince Philip’s extraordinary life and legacy.
‘A lively book that captures the essence of a modern monarchy and a new Elizabethan era’ - Lyndsy Spence, The Lady
‘Down-to-earth and insightful’ - Daily Mail
It is 1952 and Britain is changing. The Second World War is over, but the country is still scarred, recovering from six years of horror and still in the grip of food rationing. The British Empire is crumbling as countries fight for their independence both literally and physically. And George VI, the king who had refused to abandon London, is dead.
Thorns in the Crown is the story of a country on the precipice, divided between those who held firm to old values and traditions and those who were fighting for modernity and progression. Featuring memories and reflections of those who were part of the coronation, Barry Turner presents a unique look at Britain as it came to terms with the second Elizabethan age.
After the Second World War, war crimes prosecutors charged two of King George VI’s closest German relatives with ‘crimes against humanity’. American soldiers discovered top-secret documents at Marburg Castle that exposed treacherous family double-dealing inside the Royal Family. Two of the King’s brothers had flirted dangerously with the Nazi regime in duplicitous games of secret diplomacy.
To avert a potential public relations catastrophe, George VI hid incriminating papers and, with Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt’s help, whitewashed history to protect his family. Three of Philip Mountbatten’s sisters were banned from Westminster Abbey and the wedding of their brother to Princess Elizabeth because their husbands were senior Nazi officers.
This dilemma was Queen Victoria’s fatal legacy: she had hoped to secure peace in Europe through a network of royal marriages, but her plan backfired with two world wars. Tea With Hitler is a family saga of duty, courage, wilful blindness and criminality, revealing the tragic fate of a Saxe-Coburg princess murdered as part of the Nazi euthanasia programme and the story of Queen Victoria’s Jewish great-grand-daughter, rescued by her British relatives.
′...The definitive read for this refreshingly forward-looking, eternally good-willed and relatively little-known Princess′ - Tatler
Princess Diana is seen as the first member of the British royal family to tear up the rulebook, and the Duchess of Cambridge is modernising the monarchy in strides. But before them was another who paved the way.
Princess Mary was born in 1897. Despite her Victorian beginnings, she strove to make a princess’s life meaningful, using her position to help those less fortunate and defying gender conventions in the process. As the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, she would live to see not only two of her brothers ascend the throne but also her niece Queen Elizabeth II.
She was one of the hardest-working members of the royal family, known for her no-nonsense approach and her determination in the face of adversity. During the First World War she came into her own, launching an appeal to furnish every British troop and sailor with a Christmas gift, and training as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. From her dedication to the war effort, to her role as the family peacemaker during the Abdication Crisis, Mary was the princess who redefined the title for the modern age. In Princess Mary, the first biography in decades, Elisabeth Basford offers a fresh appraisal of Mary’s full and fascinating life.
This book is more than a biography of kings and queens; it is an encyclopaedic work on every aspect of monarchy in Britain from semi-legendary times to the present day. Arranged in an A-Z format, it includes mini biographies on each of the forty-two kings and queens who have ruled since the Norman Conquest, details of the royal lines in Scotland before the Act of Union, the background to the royal houses of Britain and the consorts - largely foreign - who have married into the monarchy.
Royal scandals, wars, ceremonies, households, tombs and insignia make fascinating reading, and Britain's Royal Heritage is the ideal reference work for all those who want to know more about individual monarchs and the impressive legacy of myths, traditions, beliefs and practices that have grown up around the institution of the monarchy.
This is a fascinating portrait of royal life at Sandringham, from the early life of Albert Edward to the modern day. Drawing on letters, diaries and contemporary reports, it is a rich exploration of the private lives of Britain’s royal family. From family life at the estate to the first visit of Queen Victoria, the glittering parties of the early twentieth century and all the way up to the death of King George V, the reigns of his sons and the Sandringham of today, Sandringham Days will delight anyone with an interest in the lives of the British royal family.
Pomp and Paperbacks. Royal Bargemasters have been serving their monarchs for over 800 years, yet their story has never been told. Always working in close proximity to their sovereigns, they have witnessed and played their part in many of the important events in our country’s history. They have been close witnesses to rebellions and coronations, to initial courting and grand royal weddings, and added their colourful presence to the splendour of celebrations and pageants.
Painstakingly researched by ex-Royal Bargemaster Robert Crouch and professional researcher Beryl Pendley, Royal Bargemasters is a beautifully illustrated book offering a colourful insight into the role of the Bargemasters over the centuries, revealing the part they have played in both the day-to-day lives of the Royal Family and their contribution to great ceremonial occasions from the Plantagenets to our present Queen.
A chance meeting in 1936 gave Lisa and Jimmy Sheridan the opportunity of a lifetime. Keen amateur photographers, their company Studio Lisa was engaged by the then Duke and Duchess of York to take casual photographs of their family, including the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, at their homes, Royal Lodge and at 145 Piccadilly, London.
At a time of tradition and formality, when it was unheard of for mere unknowns to be given such an opportunity, the hiring of Studio Lisa proved to be a revolutionary and popular move on the part of the royals as it humanised them in the eyes of their subjects. They soon struck up an unlikely friendship with Lisa and Jimmy – one that would span over more than thirty years and yield thirteen separate photographic sessions, the last of which included Queen Elizabeth’s young children.
Informally Royal charts the story of Studio Lisa, from its humble beginnings right through to the granting of two Royal Warrants.
For the first time Studio Lisa’s cache of remarkable royal photographs is brought together, producing a marvellous collector’s item and a treasure thankfully preserved for posterity.