The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels

  1. Anna Keay
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  • ISBN 9780500515754
  • 32.00 x 27.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 204pp
  • 296 Illustrations, 277 in colour
  • First published 2011
‘An informative delight, but the clincher is almost 300 eye-smacking photographs of the world’s most complete collection of royal regalia’ – Daily Express
‘Important … For anyone with an interest in the jeweler’s craft, historic gemstones, the British monarchy and British history, 'The Crown Jewels' will be a delight’ – Period Homes & Interiors

'The most remarkable assemblage of jewellery in the world still used in royal ceremony in a tradition going back over a millennium.'

‘This sumptuous, 200-page book gets almost as close as the Crown Jeweller – the only human (apart from the Queen) entitled to touch the jewels’ – The Scottish Daily Mail


This sumptuous volume, which includes a complete inventory of every item of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, captures the magnificence of a collection of symbolic objects steeped in English history that is still in use today. For anyone with either a professional or a personal interest in jewellery and history, The Crown Jewels will be a delight.

The Crown Jewels tells the history of the spectacular, priceless objects now in the Tower of London. Their story is that of the English monarchy itself – from the 12th-century spoon used for the anointing at the coronation to the platinum crown created for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1937, set with the Koh-i-nûr diamond.

Published in association with the Royal Collection and Historic Royal Palaces, the book features specially commissioned new photography, including many detailed shots, allowing individual pieces, the famous gems and carefully selected groups of objects to be viewed as never before.

The text, recounts the development of the collection in the medieval period, the dramatic sale and melting down of almost every piece after the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the remaking of the Crown Jewels for Charles II in 1660. Since then the collection has been augmented with pieces that reflect key moments in English history, such as the regalia created for the only joint monarchs, William III and Mary II, in 1689, and the crown made for King George V’s inauguration as Emperor of India in 1911.

Also available is a specially-bound edition including a 10-feet-long reproduction of Joseph Robins's contemporary panorama of Queen Victoria's Coronation Procession in Westminister Abbey on 28 June 1838

Anna Keay is Curatorial Director of English Heritage, responsible for the presentation and interpretation of the national collection of historic buildings, and was formerly Assistant Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, which includes the Tower of London. She specializes in early modern English court ritual and is the author of The Elizabethan Tower of London and The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power. Anna Keay has also provided historical commentary for broadcasts on royal events such as HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the State Opening of Parliament.