Friday, 22 August 2014

My latest article(s): Emeralds and Reims

I have two articles in the September issue of Majesty (Vol. 35, No. 9), which went on sale on Thursday. The first one deals with the emerald parure that is the pièce de résistance of the Norwegian jewellery collection and often worn by the Queen.
When writing my biography of Princess Astrid, which was published in 2007, I started doing some research into the history of this magnificent parure and in this article I sum up the research done in the intervening years, thereby rejecting some of the myths about this parure that are frequently repeated in the media, and following its provenance, its sometimes dramatic history and the changes made to it through the year, including the dispersal of the necklace's pendants and the unfortunate removal of some of the main stones from the tiara.
In the second I article I write about the Cathedral of Reims, the French coronation church whose significance was so great that French kings could not really be crowned anywhere else. This beautiful cathedral held a special place in French minds, but sadly became one of the first and most important cultural heritage victims of the First World War when German bombs left it in ruins in September 1914. However, it was lovingly rebuilt in the interwar years and now takes its rightful place as part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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