May 27, 2013

Keeper of the Kingdom

A new book is just being released, entitled “Keepers of the Kingdom: The Ancient Offices of Britain”. It outlines all of the odd and historic positions in the UK, necessary to keep the kingdom running smoothly. Of course, some of these positions are completely outmoded, but they’re retained, nevertheless.

This book was first published in 1999, and this edition has been updated and re-released in honour of the Jubilee celebrations which have taken place over the past year. image

Obviously, HM QEII holds several positions, most especially as the reigning monarch. She looks happy and relaxed, with all the symbols of her role surrounding her. image

In her portrait as Queen of the Scots, she looks much less friendly, and a lot more intimidating. image

This picture was taken on her property at Balmoral, miles from the main house and in a small glen with a stream running through it. It was chucking down rain just before the picture was taken, and there was also an invasion of midges (a small biting fly).image HM is shown wearing the wearing the Collar of the Order which is made from gold thistles and rue sprigs. The heather is blooming and the stream echoes the flow of her green velvet cape. The image is modeled after portraits by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), the Scottish painter. image

Although the picture was taken three years ago, it’s just been published in the book, Keepers: The Ancient Offices of Britain, available here.


  1. I wonder if they still have the observer of the monarch's daily morning ablutions!

  2. Love that green cape. Is there a "cape officer"?

  3. have sent this to clients in UK + I would love the book. Grand post.

  4. I just ordered this from our library. Thank you!


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