Royal Devotion

Royal Devotion: a new exhibition to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Lambeth Palace Library displays previously unseen artefacts

Lambeth Palace Library is now home to a fascinating new exhibition celebrating the Diamond Jubilee and the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer. Showcasing the Library’s collection of royal artefacts, brought together for the first time, it offers unique insights into the relationship between royalty and religion across the centuries.

From the Restoration of Charles II in 1662 to the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, the Book of Common Prayer has remained central to the religious life of the nation. It has provided the text for weddings, baptisms and funerals, and is the source of the Morning and Evening Prayers recited weekly in church services. The 1662 edition of the book is the highlight of the exhibition, alongside numerous other items, some of them not previously seen in public. They include medieval manuscripts, the prayer books used at the wedding of Queen Victoria and the coronation of the present Queen, and many other items. Several of the books belonged to monarchs; some even bear their handwritten notes.

‘Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer’ is on at Lambeth Palace Library to 14 July.

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