The Crown and The Church

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination. The British Library. 11 November 2011- 13 March 2012

 Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination is the British Library’s first major exhibition to bring together the Library’s Royal collection, a treasure trove of illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England between the 9th and 16th centuries. Collected over 800 years these treasures are outstanding examples of the decorative and figurative painting of the era. Together they are our most vivid source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith artistic trends and the international politics of the period. www.bl.uk/royal

ROYAL DEVOTION: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer
1 May – 14 July 2012

This exhibition traces the close relationship between royalty and religion from medieval to modern times. It tells the story of the Book of Common Prayer and its importance in national life. This story is illustrated with books, manuscripts and objects, many of which have royal or other important provenances. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Other highlights of the exhibition include:

  • A 1549 printing of the Book of Common Prayer
  • Medieval illuminated manuscripts, including the Book of Hours of Richard III
  • Queen Elizabeth I’s personal prayer book and a copy of the book of private devotions compiled for Queen Elizabeth II in preparation for her coronation
  • The Book of Common Prayer used at the wedding of Queen Victoria
  • Charles I’s own handwritten revision of State Prayers
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