Public display and public benefaction have seen to it that Royal patronage is rarely an entirely private matter. But even those who have seen the paintings, drawings, and furniture and other works of art shown in exhibitions in the Queen's Gallery, or visited the Palaces and residences open to the public, may be surprised at the range of the collection. Royal building - from the tower of London , through the great medieval chapels, churches, and castles, the Banqueting house at Whitehall and on to the hospitals at Greenwich and Chelsea and the pavilion at Brighton - are a central theme in the history of British architecture. The royal collection itself is of an unparalleled magnificence and variety. This book shows how the collection reflects the taste and interests of successive royal builders and collectors. The illustrations cover paintings and drawings, buildings and furniture, porcelain and glass, jewels and stamps, books and scientific instruments. This is a portrait of one aspect of monarchy, a celebration of patronage and taste which, like the films it accompanies, will help make Britain's Royal Heritage better known to the public at large.