The British Library’s Royal Manuscripts exhibition, containing 154 manuscripts that belonged to medieval kings and queens, was opened by the Queen last night for a private viewing and is open to the public from today until 13 March 2012.
The exhibition is the culmination of a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and undertaken by the British Library in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Comprising around 2,000 handwritten books and owned by the British nation since its presentation in 1757 by George II, this collection contains many of the finest illuminated volumes associated with the Royal family from Anglo-Saxon to Tudor times.
Taken together, these volumes offer by far the largest body of evidence for the interplay between the monarchy and art in the Middle Ages.
The exhibition aims to make them as well known as landmark medieval buildings linked to the monarchy, such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.