Princess Mary's gift box 1914

The war that erupted in Europe in August 1914 was supposed to over by Christmas that year. This confident view did not stop Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V (he appears on the poster below) and Queen Mary, from initiating a scheme to distribute Christmas gifts to theRead more

Among the many treasures in the textiles collection at Te Papa there is one very large pair of drawers. These drawers were owned by Queen Victoria. After her death in 1901, Queen Victoria’s underwear was distributed to members of the Royal Household. This particular pair was owned by Lady LouisaRead more

In 1901 the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & York, the future King George V and Queen Mary (for more on this royal couple see Mark Stocker’s post from last week), toured the Southern Hemisphere to thank commonwealth countries for sending troops to support Britain in the Boer War. AsRead more

Here is the perfect indoors game for a rainy day during a royal visit. Produced in the 1800s, its playing instructions are long gone. But you can still test yourself to see how many British sovereigns you can name, from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria.    Read more

Sixty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II is crowned (2 June 1953) Only selected officials were invited into Westminster Abbey to witness the formal coronation ceremony, so thousands of people lined the route of the coronation porcession in order to see the Queen. Robert Buhler’s lithograph (above) depicts part of theRead more

110 years ago the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York visit New Zealand (10-27 June 1901) A royal tour of New Zealand was mooted by arch-imperialist Premier Richard Seddon in 1897, during the Diamond (60th) anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne. By 1900, such a visit had assumed greater importance. ByRead more

The museum sector is currently gearing up to its annual conference in Nelson in a couple of weeks. I am particularly excited about this year’s conference as one of my most favourite historians is making an appearance as a keynote speaker – Annabel Westman. Annabel is also going to present three publicRead more

57 years ago – Queen Elizabeth arrives in Auckland, becoming the country’s first reigning monarch to visit New Zealand (23 December 1953) The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, arrived in New Zealand just before Christmas in 1953 for a 39-day tour. In the past, only sons or brothers ofRead more

In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intactRead more