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Friend or Foe

Episode 2 of 8

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 18 February 2012

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.

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  • The Exeter Salt

    Ceremonial table salt, known as The Exeter Salt, by Johann Hass

    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.

     

    From: Made in Hamburg and acquired by the Crown Jeweller, Thomas Vyner, after 1657.

    Date: c.1630

    Material: Silver-gilt encrusted with jewels

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    The Royal Collection

     

  • Princess Elizabeth trains as an A.T.S Officer

    Princess Elizabeth trains as an A.T.S Officer

    Princess Elizabeth in A.T.S. uniform at the training centre in Camberley. This photograph was taken for the War Office.

     

    From: England

    Date: 1945

    Material: Gelatin silver print

    Size: 208 x 259 mm

     

    The Royal Collection

     

  • Sword of Edward III

    Sword of Edward III

    This giant bearing sword was used as a symbol of Edward III's (1312-77) power and authority.

     

    From: England

    Date: c.1327-77

    Material: Iron and steel, wood leather, and copper alloy

    Size: 2050 mm  

     

    St George's Windsor

     

  • The Field of the Cloth of Gold

    The Field of the Cloth of Gold (c.1520)

    This painting celebrates the meeting of Henry VIII (1491-1547) and Francis I of France (1494-1547), near Calais in 1520 (British school).

     

    From: England

    Date: c.1520

    Material: Oil on canvas

    Size: 1689 x 3473 mm  

     

    The Royal Collection

  • Miniature of Mary Queen of Scots

    Portrait miniature depicting Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), by François Clouet (c.1520-1572)

    Portrait miniature depicting Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), by François Clouet (c.1520-1572). This miniature possibly belonged to Mary's cousin, Elizabeth I (1533-1603).

     

    From: France

    Date: c.1558-60

    Material: Watercolour on vellum

    Size: 83 x 57 mm

     

    The Royal Collection

     

  • Photograph of Queen Victoria with members of her family

    Photograph of Queen Victoria and her family, taken at Coburg by E. Uhlenhuth in 1894

    Photograph of Queen Victoria and her family, taken at Coburg by E. Uhlenhuth. This photograph was taken in 1894 and shows Queen Victoria as the 'Grandmother of Europe' surrounded by her descendents from royal houses across the Continent.

     

     

    From: Coburg. Acquired by Queen Victoria

    Date: 1894

    Material: Albumen print

    Size: 197 x 152 mm  

     

    The Royal Collection

     

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Broadcasts

Podcast

  1. Image for The Art of Monarchy

    The Art of Monarchy

    Will Gompertz enters the Royal Collection to examine some of the objects that have adorned, defined…

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