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June 26, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Non-fiction

Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy

Tracy Borman
Tracy+Borman Crown + Sceptre


Layer Marney Tower, Layer Marney, CO5 9US
Includes entrance to Layer Marney Tower. Ticket Deal: All 3 History Day events for £36

We are delighted to welcome leading historian, Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and author Tracy Borman to the festival.

Crown & Sceptre: A New History the British Monarchy looks back at the history and evolution of the monarchy from 1066 to the present day, feeding the renewed interest not just in the modern royals but in the predecessors who helped shape the institution into what it is today.


Venue: Layer Marney Tower, Near Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US

Date and time: Sunday 26th June, 2.00pm

Tickets: £14 (includes entrance to Layer Marney Tower, usually £10)

Ticket deal: All three History Day events for £36, including entrance to Layer Marney. The discount will be applied at checkout when all three History Day events have ben added to the basket.

Box Office: Buy online or via Mercury Theatre, 01206 573948


History Day Events:

11.00am Julia Abel Smith – Forbidden Wife

2.00pm Tracy Borman – Crown & Sceptre

4.00pm Andrew Lownie – Traitor King


Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy by Tracy Borman

Crown & SceptreThe British Monarchy, one of the most iconic and enduring institutions in the world, has weathered the storms of rebellion, revolution and war that brought many of Europe’s royal families to an abrupt and bloody end.

Its unique survival owes much to the fact that, for all it sancient traditions and protocol, the royal family has proved remarkably responsive to change, evolving to reflect the times. But for much of its history, it also spearheaded seismic change, shaping our religious, political and cultural identity and establishing the British monarchy as the envy of the world.

There has never been a more apposite moment to consider the history of this extraordinary survivor. Within the next decade, there is likely to be a change of monarch, sparking renewed global interest on a scale not seen since Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.

Even the media and popular frenzy evoked by recent royal events such as royal weddings and births will not compare to that generated by the accession of a new king. As this pivotal moment approaches, Crown & Sceptre looks back at the history and evolution of the monarchy from 1066 to the present day, feeding the renewed interest not just in the modern royals but in the predecessors who helped shape the institution into what it is today.

Crown & Sceptre draws parallels between what came before and what our future monarchs might learn from these instances.

‘Borman is an authoritative and engaging writer, good at prising out thosehumanising details that make the past alive to us.’ – The Observer

‘Tracy Borman’s Crown and Sceptre is hugely impressive. A breath-taking amount of research has been packed painlessly into this compelling and engaging saga of Britain’s kings and queens. Lively, pacy and marvellously concise and informative, it grips the reader from the first page. A stunning tour de force and a remarkable achievement.’ Alison Weir, bestselling author and historian

‘A crisp, delightfully clear, and perfectly weighted compendium – it brims with need-to-know facts, laced with intriguing, revealing, detail. She cleverly tells the tale of Britain, through the prism of monarchy. This is Our Island Story for the modern age.’ Charles Spencer, author, journalist and broadcaster


About the Author

Tracy+Borman+©Historic+Royal+PalacesTracy Borman is a best selling author, historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Tudor period.  Her books include Elizabeth’s Women, Thomas Cromwell, The Private Lives of the Tudors and Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him. She has also written a fiction trilogy, The King’s Witch, based in the court of James I.

Tracy is also joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and an honorary professor at Bishop Grosseteste University. She has presented a number of history programmes for Channel 5 and the Smithsonian Channel, including The Fall of Anne Boleyn, Inside the Tower of Londonand Henry VIII and the King’s Men.  She is a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine and gives talks on her books across the country and abroad.

Her latest book, Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in November 2021.

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBorman and on Instagram @tracy.borman

Photo of Tracy Borman © Historic Royal Palaces


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Layer Marney Tower
Layer Marney, CO5 9US + Google Map

Hearing Loop: There is no hearing loop at the venue - Essex Book Festival has a mobile Roger Pen hearing loop system, which needs to be booked by individuals in advance at least five days before the event. If you would like to use the Roger Pen email claire@essexbookfestival.org.uk