Sunday, 5 October 2014
Elizabeth 1st's locket ring at the National Portrait Gallery
In London at the weekend, and with an hour to fill, I visited the National Portrait Gallery, with my favourite gallery being the Tudors. I never tire of seeing those portraits close up, and occasionally new ones are borrowed to show. I was thrilled to find a new exhibition called 'The Real Tudors - rediscovering the Kings and Queens'. Ok so most of the portraits are permanent - but one exhibit was Elizabeth 1st's locket ring. Elizabeth Ist had a ring made with 2 small portraits inside - one of her profile, and the other of a lady wearing a French hood and seemingly her mother Anne Boleyn. It's enchanting! What a wonderful memorial to her mother. The ring is kept at a house called Chequers, the 'country' home of serving British Prime Ministers. I've never had the chance to see it before. And to think I only saw it because I had an hour to fill - what luck! Other gems included a page from the diary of the 9 year old son of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and a rosary that had belonged to Henry VIII with his initials and those of Katherine of Aragon. The exhibition runs until March 2015.