The Art Of Monarchy

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01Behind The Royal Image20120211

BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, begins an 8-part exploration of almost one thousand years of the British Monarchy as told through the objects of art they collected. In a weekly journey that takes him from the wilds of Balmoral in Scotland to the isolation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, from the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace to the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, he'll be selecting choice items from the Royal Collection to see what they betray about the art of statecraft and a successful reign.

In each programme historians, academics and Royal Collection curators shed light on the mystery of kingship and the importance of faith, war, magnificence, progress and the people in the minds of monarchs.

He begins his investigations by looking at some of the most personal royal images in the Collection to see what insights they give us into the lasting power of the monarchy. From the very earliest royal photographs to the revealing portrait of a seductive Victoria, and from the forgotten son of Henry VIII to the manipulated images of George III, Will asks how important understanding their own image has been to the longevity of our Kings and Queens.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

Will begins looks at some of the most personal royal images in the Royal Collection.

02Friend Or Foe20120218

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

In this series, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

In today's programme, Will puts the Royal Collection on a war footing as he examines six very different items covering 700 years that show how the monarchy has rallied their subjects for war and endeavoured to keep the peace.

Will's explorations of monarchs at war begins with a photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth training to be an ATS Officer in 1945 shown to the nation to boost morale but then spools back to the Middle Ages with a clear symbol of martial authority - Edward III's six feet, eight inch long bearing sword. Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots and a elaborate object of apology from the city of Exeter all form part of the story of the monarchy in arms.

As well as curators from the Royal Collection, Will meets General Sir Mike Jackson, Dr Duncan Anderson - Head of Academy, Sandhurst and Sir David Cannadine.

Producer: Neil George.

Will examines items from the Royal Collection that are associated with war.

03Faith20120225

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

In this series, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

A thousand years of monarchical history tell us that one crucial relationship for a monarch is with the church. In today's programme, Will sees how hard successive rulers have worked to make sure religion stayed on their side. It has not always been easy. The relationship with the church has through the centuries been so fraught as to threaten the survival of a sovereign.

Will begins with an object used - only for a brief but crucial moment - in the coronation of the present Queen, then encounters an object that dates from the time of William the Conqueror and that has anointed some of England's most famous Kings and Queens in the eyes of God. He reads Henry VIII's robust defence of the Catholic faith, written just a few years before political expediency drove him to break with the Papacy; and sees a landscape painting that provides a possible insight into the private faith of Queen Victoria.

Along the way, Will enlists the help of curators from the Royal Collection, Lord Indarjit Singh, historians Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, Anna Whitelock and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Will explores the monarch's relationship with the church through the centuries.

04Magnificence20120303

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

In this series, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

In this programme, Will uses five objects to investigate a pivotal aspect of the art of monarchy - the projection of magnificence. An idea as old as monarchy itself, magnificence is the expression of power through the display of wealth and status. Will's first object unites our current Queen with George III; the Gold State Coach, which has been used for coronations since 1821. Built for George III in 1762, it reflects Britain's new found glory in its richly gilded carvings and painted panels...but the glory was to be short lived.

Will goes on to explore Henry VIII's taste for interior design at Hampton Court Palace, with the enormous Abraham Tapestries - a symbol of Henry's personal self-belief but also a post-Reformation statement to his rival the Pope. Charles II's preoccupations are given unlikely form in a silver table now held at Windsor Castle, whilst Sir Christopher Wren's designs for Hampton Court have an unusually egalitarian purpose.

The idea of magnificence might seem one-dimensional - but encoded into the jewels, the gilding, the silver and the marble are stories of political intrigue and personal paranoia.

Prod: Neil George.

How the monarchy expresses power with displays of wealth and status.

05The People20120310

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

During the series, Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

In this programme, Will investigates the unspoken and unwritten contract that has existed between the rulers and the ruled in this country. Over the centuries, both parties have used compromise and conflict, threat and reward. Will uses six objects from the Collection to illuminate some of the pivotal moments in this relationship.

From the Wriotheseley Garter Book, dating from the 1520s, one of the earliest depictions of Parliament in action, to a ring keeping the memory of the recently executed King Charles I alive, Will sees both extremes of the relationship between monarch and subject. He encounters the face of revolution in an early photograph purchased by Prince Albert and meets some of those recently touched by a sword that belonged to King George VI, now known as the Investiture Sword, as he gets to the heart of the might and the majesty of monarchy.

Producer: Neil George.

Will Gompertz explores 500 years of British monarchs, through the objects they acquired.

06Progress20120317

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

During the series, Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

In this programmes, Will explores the relationship the institution of the monarchy has had with that potentially corrosive agent - change. He finds that the most successful monarchs have understood and harnessed innovation - Henry VIII took an interest in wood so the Navy boats would be the best on the ocean, Charles II established the Royal Observatory so astronomers could find out more about the skies and better inform navigation. Queen Victoria asked Marconi to demonstrate a radio station at Osborne House and she took part in the first trans-Atlantic cable ever sent.

With the help of objects and curators from the Royal Collection, together with leading historians, Will studies objects that not only demonstrate the patronage of the arts and sciences but also illuminate the more personal expressions of learning and monarchical intellectual engagement.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Will explores the relationship the institution of the monarchy has had with change.

07Empire And Commonwealth20120324

The Royal Collection is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world and provides an intriguing insight into the minds of the Monarchs who assembled it.

In this series, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz encounters dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each shedding light on our relationship with the monarchy and giving a glimpse into the essential ingredients of a successful sovereign.

In this programme, Will looks beyond these island shores to see the Monarchy as a global force. The monarch was a symbol of imperial expansion, in the form of the British Empire, for 300 years. But Will begins with the current reign, which has seen a retreat from Empire and the development of the modern Commonwealth, exemplified in the Royal Collection by a small woven cloth made with yarn spun by Gandhi, which contains an anti-imperial message written in Hindi. Centuries ago, the Queen's predecessor and namesake, Elizabeth I, presided over the very beginning of England's experiment in empire. We see the world as she understood it, in the form of an early atlas. As he explores Britain's involvement in world affairs Will examines a shard of wood from the coffin of George Washington, a print of a merino ram which illustrates George III's impact on the Australian wool trade, and a brightly painted chess set, presented to the Duke of Edinburgh by President Mandela in 1996.

Each of these objects has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

Producer: Neil George.

Will looks beyond Britain to see the monarchy as a global force.

08 LASTLegacy20120331

In this Diamond Jubilee year, BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz has been selecting some of the most revealing objects from the Royal Collection to see what they tell us about the monarchs who acquired them. It is one of the most wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts in the world, and also one of the most surprising - offering up an intriguing insight into the minds of the monarchs who assembled it.

During the course of this series, Will has encountered dozens of these unique objects - some priceless, others no more than souvenirs - each giving a glimpse into the essential characteristics of a successful sovereign. And in this, the final programme, he delves once more into the Collection to see what a subtly doctored portrait of Richard III, a bombastic mural that once hung in the Palace of Whitehall and the paintings on the Grand Staircase in Buckingham Palace tell us about how the Monarchy has dealt with a series of dynastic crises. And he joins the Royal Collection at work today and sees how Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer and a pair of four foot candelabra are brought into the service of both Queen and country.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

A look at how the monarchy has dealt with a series of dynastic crises.

WS012012052220120523 (WS)
20120526 (WS)

A look at some of the most personal images in the Royal Collection.

BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, begins a four-part exploration of almost 1000 years of the British Monarchy as told through the objects of art they collected.

In a weekly journey that takes him from the wilds of Balmoral in Scotland to the isolation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, from the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace to the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, he selects choice items from the Royal Collection to see what they betray about the art of statecraft and a successful reign.

In each programme historians, academics and Royal Collection curators shed light on the mystery of kingship and the importance of faith, war, magnificence, progress and the people in the minds of monarchs. Each object in the series has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

EPISODE ONE

Will Gompertz begins his investigations by looking at some of the most personal royal images in the collection to see what insights they give us into the lasting power of the monarchy.

From the very earliest royal photographs to the revealing portrait of a seductive Victoria, to the (as you've left out the second from (Henry VIII's son) I think "and the" is better than "to the" manipulated images of George III, Will asks how important understanding their own image has been to the longevity of Britain’s Kings and Queens.

Will Gompertz explores one thousand years of British monarchs, through objects they col.

Will Gompertz explores one thousand years of British monarchs, through objects they collected.

WS022012052920120530 (WS)
20120602 (WS)

Will examines items from the Royal Collection that are associated with war.

BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, presents a four-part exploration of almost 1000 years of the British monarchy as told through the objects of art they collected.

In a weekly journey that takes him from the wilds of Balmoral in Scotland to the isolation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, from the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace to the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, he selects choice items from the Royal Collection to see what they betray about the art of statecraft and a successful reign.

In each programme historians, academics and Royal Collection curators shed light on the mystery of kingship and the importance of faith, war, magnificence, progress and the people in the minds of monarchs. Each object in the series has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

EPISODE TWO

In part two, Will puts the Royal Collection on a war footing as he examines six very different items covering 700 years, that show how the monarchy has rallied their subjects for war and endeavoured to keep the peace.

He starts with a photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth training to be an ATS Officer in 1945, shown to the nation to boost morale but then spools back to the Middle Ages with a clear symbol of martial authority - Edward III's six feet, eight inch long bearing sword.

Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots and an elaborate object of apology from the city of Exeter, all form part of the story of the monarchy in arms.

Each of these objects in the series as a whole - has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

(Image: Ceremonial table salt, known as The Exeter Salt, by Johann Hass. This ceremonial table salt was paid for by the people of Exeter and presented to Charles II (1630-1685) on his restoration in 1660)

WS032012060520120606 (WS)
20120609 (WS)

Will examines how the monarchy expresses power with displays of wealth and status.

Will Gompertz explores one thousand years of British monarchs, through objects they col...

Will Gompertz explores one thousand years of British monarchs, through objects they collected.

BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, presents a four-part exploration of almost 1000 years of the British monarchy as told through the objects of art they collected.

In a weekly journey that takes him from the wilds of Balmoral in Scotland to the isolation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, from the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace to the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, he selects choice items from the Royal Collection to see what they betray about the art of statecraft and a successful reign.

In each programme historians, academics and Royal Collection curators shed light on the mystery of kingship and the importance of faith, war, magnificence, progress and the people in the minds of monarchs. Each object in the series has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

EPISODE THREE

In part three, Will investigates the pivotal aspect of the art of monarchy - the projection of magnificence. An idea as old as monarchy itself, magnificence is the expression of power through the display of wealth and status.

Will's first object unites our current Queen with George III; the Gold State Coach, which has been used for coronations since 1821. Built for George III in 1762, it reflects Britain's new found glory in its richly gilded carvings and painted panels but the glory was to be short lived.

He goes on to explore both Henry VIII's interior design for Hampton Court Palace, by means of the enormous Abraham Tapestries and William and Mary's plans for its exterior.

The idea of magnificence might seem one-dimensional but encoded into the jewels, the gilding, the silver and the marble are stories of political intrigue and personal paranoia.

(Image: The Gold State Coach designed by Sir William Chambers (1723-1796), made by Samuel Butler, with carvings by Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), painted decoration by G.B. Cipriani (1727-1785). The Gold State Coach has been used for every Coronation since 1762 and, in the present reign, has also appeared at the Silver and Golden Jubilees)

WS04 LAST2012061220120613 (WS)
20120616 (WS)

Will looks beyond the British isles to see the monarchy as a global force.

BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, presents a four-part exploration of almost 1000 years of the British monarchy as told through the objects of art they collected.

In a weekly journey that takes him from the wilds of Balmoral in Scotland to the isolation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, from the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace to the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, he selects choice items from the Royal Collection to see what they betray about the art of statecraft and a successful reign.

In each programme historians, academics and Royal Collection curators shed light on the mystery of kingship and the importance of faith, war, magnificence, progress and the people in the minds of monarchs. Each object in the series has its own story to tell and each reveals another aspect to the art of monarchy.

EPISODE FOUR

In part four, Will looks beyond the British isles to see the monarchy as a global force. Centuries ago, the Queen's predecessor and namesake Elizabeth I, presided over the very beginning of England's experiment in empire.

We see the world as she understood it, in the form of an early atlas. And as Will explores Britain's involvement in world affairs, he examines a shard of wood from the coffin of George Washington, a print of a merino ram which illustrates George III's impact on the Australian wool trade, a small woven cloth made with yarn spun by Gandhi - which contains an anti-imperial message written in Hindi - and a brightly painted chess set, presented to the Duke of Edinburgh by President Mandela in 1996.

(Image: A Peep at the Train, Bakshiram, Dorsaywala Gordenji and Sirinbai Ardeshir from a series of 82 portraits depicting Indians by Rudolph Swoboda (1859-1914). The sitters in this extensive series of portraits are generally ordinary Indian subjects. Bakshiram was a potter, alleged to be over 102 years old, from Agra; Dorsayawala Gordenji was a 50 year old tailor in the service of the Maharaja; and Sirinbai Ardeshir was a 14 year old Parsi from Nemuch)