Art and culture have played a significant role in the lives of the British Royal Family throughout history. From the reign of Charles I to the present day, the royals have been patrons and collectors of the arts, shaping the cultural landscape of the United Kingdom.
Charles: A Modern Monarch with a Passion for the Arts
Prince Charles is considered the most culturally attuned monarch in over a century, with a deep fascination for the arts that echoes earlier monarchs like Charles I and Charles II. His love of culture was stirred by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. However, his interests often contrast with those of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who was more interested in horse racing than the arts.
George III: A Monarch with a Literary Legacy
King George III built a superlative collection of 65,000 books that formed the heart of the British Library. His passion for literature and the arts contributed significantly to the cultural heritage of the United Kingdom.
Art and Culture in the Coronation Ceremony
Prince Charles has commissioned 12 works for his coronation ceremony, including a piece by Tarik O’Regan. This demonstrates the importance of art and culture in the lives of the British Royal Family and the significant role it plays in ceremonial events.
Private Art Collections and Wealth
The British Royal Family is known for its immense wealth, owning castles, country estates, top-of-the-range cars, horses, and exquisite jewels. Their private art collections are rarely, if ever, publicly exhibited, and their finances are often structured in a way that their annual handouts can only go up, never down. The culture of extreme deference and secrecy surrounding the royal family makes it difficult to scrutinize their wealth and behavior, including their involvement in the arts.