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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

The Art of Monarchy
The Art of Monarchy ©

An eight-part series, The Art of Monarchy, illuminates the long history of the Monarchy through the works of art acquired by British kings and queens.

The programmes present objects from Balmoral Castle in Scotland to the Royal Library at Windsor; and from the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. These objects  illustrate such diverse themes as faith, progress, war and legacy.

Learning resources to accompany the series have been developed in partnership with BBC Schools for key stages 1, 2 and 3. Teacher's resources can be accessed via the BBC's Famous People website, while additional online activities for children are available at BBC Primary History

To coincide with the Art of Monarchy, the Radio 4 blog is running a series of posts by Royal Collection curators. These can be accessed via the links below or directly on the Radio 4 and 4 Extra blog:

Behind the Royal Image

In the first of the eight programmes, Will Gompertz looks at some of the most personal royal portraits in the Royal...

Friend or Foe

For centuries, understanding enemies and forging alliances has been an essential component of statecraft. The Monarchy’...


The monarch has been the head of the Church since Henry VIII rejected the authority of the Pope in the 16th century....


Royal magnificence impresses strangers and intimidates enemies; it demonstrates the wealth and power of a nation and...


The British Monarchy’s close and contractural relationship with its people has enabled it to survive internal upheavals...


The Monarchy has contributed significantly to the prosperity of its people by its understanding and promotion of...

Empire and Commonwealth

The development of a unified Britain, an overseas Empire and the evolution of the Commonwealth are told through objects...


Art has played an important role in both affirming and glorifying the dynastic heritage and ambitions of the Monarchy....