For centuries, the British monarchy has been a major patron of the arts, amassing a vast and diverse collection of treasures that have helped shape the country's cultural heritage. From paintings and sculptures to ceremonial dress and jewelry, the royal collections offer a fascinating glimpse into the majesty and luxury of the British monarchy.
One of the most iconic and valuable aspects of the royal collections is its art collection, which includes works by some of the greatest artists in history. Illustrious monarchs such as Charles I, George IV, and Queen Victoria all had their own unique tastes and preferences when it came to art, and their collections reflect this. Prince Albert promoted early Renaissance paintings, and Queen Elizabeth II has been immortalized in the memorable and elegant portraits of Cecil Beaton.
But the royal collections aren't just about paintings and sculptures. They also include a dazzling array of ceremonial dress worn by British royalty and courtiers for coronations, weddings, and court presentations. These garments are not only beautiful, but they also tell fascinating stories about the past and the people who wore them. From gold-embroidered robes to gowns by Britain's greatest couturiers, these pieces of clothing are a testament to the majesty and splendor of the British monarchy.
The royal collections are a unique and important part of Britain's cultural heritage, providing insight into the tastes and patronage of its monarchs throughout history. Many of the treasures are on display at museums and galleries throughout the country, providing visitors with an up-close look at these iconic pieces.
Whether you're a seasoned art aficionado or simply curious about the rich and fascinating history of the British monarchy, the royal collections are a must-see. They offer a unique insight into the majesty and luxury of one of the world's most celebrated monarchies and are a testament to the enduring cultural significance of the British royal family.
With the coronation of King Charles III on the horizon, the Institute's online event promises to take attendees on a lavish and evocative journey through the royal collections.
A statement from the Palace explains, "the Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry."
The invitation for the Coronation has been designed by Andrew Jamieson, a heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator whose work is inspired by the chivalric themes of Arthurian legend. Mr Jamieson is a Brother of the Art Workers’ Guild, of which The King is an Honorary Member.
The original artwork for the invitation was hand-painted in watercolour and gouache, and the design will be reproduced and printed on recycled card, with gold foil detailing. Central to the design is the motif of the Green Man, an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign. The shape of the Green Man, crowned in natural foliage, is formed of leaves of oak, ivy and hawthorn, and the emblematic flowers of the United Kingdom.
Credit: Buckingham Palace
Join Sotheby’s Institute of Art as we uncover the magnificence and grandeur of the British royal collections, and delve into the fascinating history behind the majestic ceremonial dress of British royalty. The King’s Coronation: Art and Fashion in the British Royal Collections will explore this historic event and the pageantry of the British monarchy.
Find out more and RSVP for tickets, here.