Resources

Interested in learning more about jewels, royal or otherwise? Here's a handy section of links to various resources, both in print and online, for furthering your own education. I'll be adding to this section of the website regularly. If you've found a great book or website not listed here, I'd love to hear about it. (I can read English and French, though I prefer to read English translations when available!) Just drop me a note at ella@thecourtjeweller.com!

(Note: links to books are my Amazon referral links. If you buy a book after clicking one of these links, I get a small percentage of the profits to bolster my own jewel library and produce more content for all of you!)

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BOOKS

Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration (Caroline de Guitaut, 2012)
Written by one of the curators of the Royal Collection, this book is a smaller and less expensive companion to Hugh Roberts's enormous The Queen's Diamonds. de Guitaut's book serves as a catalogue for the 2012 exhibition of diamonds at Buckingham Palace, but it is a little gem in its own right. Featuring lovely photographs of a selection of some of the diamond items from the Royal Collection, the book is less comprehensive than Roberts's but provides a nicely curated look at some of the sparkliest pieces owned by the British royals.

Yet another publication related to the recent diamond jubilee, this book covers the clothing and the jewels worn by Elizabeth II during the various celebrations. Kelly is in charge of the queen's wardrobe, as well as her jewels, and the book is a delightful peek into the process of designing, constructing, and maintaining her clothes, hats, and jewelry.

The Queen's Diamonds (Sir Hugh Roberts, 2012)
Published to coincide with Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, this enormous tome is the definitive source out there on the diamonds in the British royal collection. The book is organized by queen, beginning with jewels that belonged to Queen Adelaide and moving to the newest pieces, created for the reigning monarch. Roberts, the former director of the Royal Collection, was given unprecedented access to the jewels and to supporting documents, like Queen Mary's extensive inventories. Featuring astonishingly detailed photographs, Roberts's book is the best source out there on British royal jewels.

The Queen's Jewels (Leslie Field, 1987)
Field's book remains one of the main sources on the jewelry owned by the British royals, even though it has been significantly updated and corrected by Roberts's recent book. Organized by gemstone, the book surveys pieces inherited and acquired by the queen, providing tidbits of information and a variety of photographs. The text has gone through several updated editions, and it is an important and interesting book for those interested in British jewels. The book is currently out of print, but obtaining used copies is fairly easy.

The Royal Jewels (Suzy Menkes, 1985)
Written by fashion columnist Suzy Menkes at the height of the Princess Diana era, this book surveys the jewels owned by various members of the British royal family. Pieces from the collections of Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother are here, but Menkes also discusses jewels owned by the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal, Princess Diana, and Sarah Ferguson. The book is significantly in need of an update, and its claims about history and provenance should always be cross-checked with newer sources, but the book is an enjoyable addition to the book collection of the serious jewel watcher. As with Field's book, Menkes's book is currently out of print, but used copies are generally available.

Tiara (Diana Scarisbrick, 2000)
Published to coincide with an exhibition of tiaras at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, this book presents a sharply curated collection of pieces, including several noble tiaras and a number of tiaras produced by Cartier. The book features a large number of photographs, although some of them are smaller and less detailed than the reader might like.

Tiaras: A History of Splendour (Geoffrey C. Munn, 2001)
Munn's book on the history of tiaras is generally considered to be one of the best resources in print about the tiara as an object and an art form; as managing director of Wartski's, he has access to some rather remarkable sources on these beautiful pieces. Published as a supplement and a companion to the landmark tiara exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the book features large, beautiful photographs, some of pieces that are rarely ever seen in public. It also covers an impressive span of time, from ancient jewels to contemporary pieces. While many of the tiaras featured have connections to royal families, the book also features non-royal jewels. Highly researched, highly recommended.

Tiaras: Past and Present (Geoffrey C. Munn, 2002)
This smaller version of Munn's work on tiaras is essentially the catalogue for the 2002 exhibition of tiaras at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It's smaller and far less comprehensive than its counterpart, but it features lovely photographs, and would serve as an excellent introduction for those interested in tiaras but not yet ready for a weightier tome.

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ONLINE RESOURCES

Although the primary focus of this website and forum is the history of the Romanovs and imperial Russia, the site also features rare photographs and information about a number of royals, including frequent discussion of royal jewels.

Artemisia's Royal Jewels
This blog is chock-full of content about royal jewels from all over the world. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated in some time, so perhaps it's been abandoned, but the content that remains is sparkling.

Diana's Jewels
Run by Ayvee, this site is the most complete survey online of the jewels worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Recently, Ayvee has also added a supplemental page on the jewels worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Dutch Royal Jewels
The best site on the internet about the jewelry collection of the Dutch royal family, hands down. John includes numerous photographic examples of each piece from the vaults, and he's careful about documenting their history. A must-read for those researching jewels worn by Queen Máxima, Princess Beatrix, and the rest of the Orange-Nassaus.

Covering major contemporary royal occasions, as well as reflecting on glittering events from the past, this forum often features photographs and updates on jewel-filled royal celebrations.

HRH Countess of Wessex
Featuring updates on appearances made by the Countess of Wessex, this site is new, but is run by Anna, who has long been an authority on the jewelry worn by Sophie. Her Facebook page, My Small Obsessions, also includes content about jewels run by various members of the British royal family.

One of the best resources online about the ruling families of Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, this blog features content about the family's jewels amid its updates on their engagements and activities. It's an excellent resource for those intrigued especially by the vast jewel collection of the Nassau family.

Classic posts on royal hats and tiara from my blog, written from 2008-2011.

If you're interested in royal coronations, this forum provides intriguing content related to the various coronations of the past. Rare, jewel-heavy photographs are often included in the postings.

An online community dedicated to royal jewelry from around the world, this forum is an intriguing read for anyone seriously interested in the study of royal jewels. Updated regularly; posters are knowledgeable, but a warning for those wishing to contribute: the forum does not frequently approve new members.

Ursula's website on royal jewelry features rare photographs and information about pieces owned by numerous royal families. The site is primarily in German, though some pages feature translations into other languages, including English. The main drawback is the difficulty of navigating the site -- your best bet may be to use a google search at times to try to find individual pages.

Run by Marlene Eilers Koenig, the author of several books on Queen Victoria's descendants, this blog features general content about European royals past and present. While the blog does not focus on jewels, she occasionally includes information related to various pieces of royal jewelry, and her historical content provides valuable context for understanding the history of various items.

Unofficial Royalty
If you're looking for daily content on both current and historical royal milestones, this website aggregates just that in a handy format. Great for finding jewel-laden photos from glittering appearances by various royal families!

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DOCUMENTARIES

De Kongelige Juveler (2011)
This Danish documentary, "The Royal Jewels," is a two-part series covering jewelry from various royal houses. Part one focuses mainly on Scandinavian jewels, while the second part explores jewels owned by the Romanovs. Both episodes feature interviews with the royals themselves, including Queen Silvia of Sweden and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

This short documentary discusses the jewels owned by the British royal family, but be warned: it features several major errors, and the jewels that are filmed in close-up appear to be imitation pieces rather than the real thing.