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History of the Royal Residences

Royal Collection Trust looks after the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world, and manages the public opening of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. Learn about the fascinating history of these residences and the incredible objects they contain through our range of books. From magical children’s stories to in-depth historical studies, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained at home. 
 

The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is recognised around the world as the home of The Queen and the focus of national and royal celebrations. Did you know that the history of the Palace began with James I in the early 17th century? The king started growing mulberries for rearing silkworms on the site of the Palace gardens today. Learn more about the history of the Palace in our Official Souvenir Guide, and take a tour around the rooms through more than 80 photographs of the dazzling State Apartments.

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Queen Victoria's Palace

Queen Victoria's Buckingham Palace

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to rule from Buckingham Palace. With her husband, Prince Albert, the queen introduced a number of innovations to the Palace, from the construction of the iconic East Front and elegant Ballroom to functional improvements such as electricity and the telephone. Victoria transformed a relatively minor royal residence into a grand stage for state occasions, a symbol of the British monarchy and a national monument. Read more about these dramatic changes in the book, Queen Victoria’s Buckingham Palace.

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Buckingham Palace

Does the Queen Wear Her Crown in Bed?

Inspired by the many questions that children ask when visiting Buckingham Palace, Does The Queen wear Her Crown in Bed? is a fun way to learn about Her Majesty The Queen's London home. Two children visit the Palace, where a footman guides them around the State Rooms and explains The Queen’s most important duties – and what you should do if you meet her.

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A photograph of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle: An Illustrated History

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and it has been home to 39 monarchs over almost 1,000 years. While the Castle was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, he did not live there but instead used it as a defensive base to guard the western approach to London. Over time, easy access from the capital and a neighbouring royal hunting forest made Windsor an ideal location for a royal residence for subsequent monarchs. Find out how Edward III transformed the Castle from a military fortification to a gothic palace, how Charles II created the grandest Baroque apartments in England, and more in Windsor Castle: An Illustrated History.

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Windsor Library Books

The Queen's Castle at Windsor

Do you know which king kept a pet giraffe at Windsor? Or who was brought back to the Castle without a head? Young historians can find out in The Queen's Castle At Windsor, where lively illustrations and fun facts bring the Castle’s colourful history to life.

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The Queen's Dolls' House

Windsor Castle is home to the largest dolls' house in the world. It has electricity, running hot and cold water and even working lifts. Created in the 1920s by the renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary, it includes a fully stocked wine cellar, gardens and a library bursting with original works by the top literary names of the day. Learn more about this incredible masterpiece in miniature with the book, The Queen's Dolls' House. This imaginative guide is complemented by documents from the Royal Archives, including previously unpublished letters between Queen Mary, Lutyens and the many contributing artists and manufacturers.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The history of the Palace of Holyroodhouse can be traced back to the founding of Holyrood Abbey in 1128 by David I of Scotland. Over the subsequent 900 years the Palace has been associated with some of the most dramatic events and important figures from Scotland’s turbulent history. It was here in her private apartments that Mary, Queen of Scots witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, David Rizzio, at the hands of a group led by her husband, Lord Darnley. Find out more and discover how the Palace is used today in our Official Souvenir Guide.

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