Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Royal Collections Vol 1: Great Britain

For no other reason except to sit in a comfy chair and spend an hour or so losing yourself in the stunning new publication from  Royal Collections Volume 1: Great Britain.

In the late 1990s, former financial analyst and now publisher-cum-writer, Art Beeche began a royal image collection of postcards and photographs.  The collection has become massive, and numbers  more than 400,000 images.    Wow.  My own collection is diminutive by comparison.

This 258 page is pure delight, page after page of historical photographs from Queen Victoria to present day.  Many of the photos are familiar, while others come from private family collections, and are published for the first time.    Mr. Beeche has purchased several collections at auction or from dealers..  He also acquired personal collections from the late Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, who was the older sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

Count Hans Veit of Toerring -Jettenbach, a first cousin of the Duke of Kent and his siblings, also contributed a series of photos that he took at royal events, including Princess Alexandra's 70th  birthday.

My favorite photo (and I wish it were published in color) is on pages 206-207, a two page spread of the group photo taken after Prince and Princess Michael's Service of Blessing in the Anglican church (not a wedding), which took place several months after their civil marriage in Vienna in June 1978.

Another nice photogryaph shows Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with  Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor with their first daughter,Maud,and  Lady Ella Windsor, taken a few months after Maud's birth.

The book is divided into chapters on the British monarchs from Victoria to Elizabeth II, the junior branches (Gloucester, Kent, Edinburgh, Connaught & Albany), the old royal family ( Cumberland and Cambridge) and the extended family (Carisbrooke, Cambridge, Athlone and the Mountbattens).

I could ramble on and on about this special book.  I could tell you about more unique and special photographs ... group and family photographs of Prince Philip with his siblings and their descendants.

Let's just say you will want to order this book ... for the photos. Because the photos are awesome.

This  is a unique compilation because of the publisher's personal collection includes many published and previously private photos.      Royal Collections is the first of what will be a series of books with photos from the Eurohistory Archive.

Don't take this book to the beach.  This is a book you keep on your cocktail table, and dip in it from time to time, savoring all the delightful "new" photos.  Well done,