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Behind the Royal Image

Episode 1 of 8

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 11 February 2012

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.

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    From: England. Commissioned by Queen Victoria

    Date: 1843

    Material: Oil on canvas   Size: 648 x 534 mm

     

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    From: Taken at Balmoral. From Queen Mary's photograph album.

    Date: September 1928

    Material: Gelatin silver print

    Size: 72 x 99 mm  

     

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    From: Taken at Constable's studio in Brighton.

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    Material: Daguerreotype

    Size: 87 x 63 mm

     

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    From: England. Acquired by Queen Victoria

    Date: c.1533-34

    Material: Watercolour on vellum laid on card

    Size: Approx. 44 mm diameter

     

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    From: England.  

    Date: 1820  

    Material: Mezzotint.  

    Size: 432 x 320 mm, 432 x 323 mm, 430 mm x 319 mm

     

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    An enamel portrait of George III depicted as an elderly man by Joseph Lee (1780-1859)

    From: England. Enamel portrait possibly acquired by George IV

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    Size: 222 x 172 mm

     

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