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Inspired by Shakespeare - create a bookplate

Pages from The Tempest

Design your own bookplate.pdf

Charles I (1600-1649) at his Trial©

William Shakespeare is Britain’s most famous playwright, and even though he died more than 400 years ago, his plays are still read, watched and enjoyed all over the world. His celebrated stories include MacbethHamletHenry V and many more. Have you read any Shakespeare plays at school?

Did you know, lots of kings and queens have enjoyed reading and watching Shakespeare’s work? Charles I read his copy of Shakespeare’s plays while he was imprisoned at Windsor Castle during the English Civil War. Shakespeare performed for the royal family when Charles was a young boy, and it is likely that the king would have remembered seeing the playwright at court.

Have a close look at the image below. Charles I wrote the names of characters from some of Shakespeare’s plays onto the contents page of his copy of the book, perhaps to help him remember which play was which!

Comedies, histories and tragedies, published according to the true originall copies / William Shakespeare.©

Have a go!

Act it out

If you are feeling inspired, have a go at writing your own play. Think of a beginning, middle and end to the plot. Consider what makes a great character – why do they do what they do, or what makes them funny, scary or sad? Then think about a setting for your story. Finally read it through or act it out with your family.

These items from the Royal Collection might give you some ideas…

We would love to see the fun you have writing and acting out your own plays! If you post anything on social media, please tag us using @RCT on Twitter and @royalcollectiontrust on Instagram and Facebook.

Design your own bookplate

Bookplates are small designs that you can paste inside your books to let others know that they belong to you. The most common features of bookplates are initials, names or coats of arms, though some designs are more elaborate.  

It is easy to make your own bookplate at home using our downloadable activity sheets. Use our template to get you started. You can draw your own pictures or use some of the illustrations included in the activity sheets.

When planning your design, think about including your initials, a few of your favourite objects, some of your hobbies, or a combination of all three. For more inspiration, look at the examples from the Royal Collection below …

Find out more

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.