The excitement surrounding the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton has prompted four of Britain's top historical biographers to look closely at Royal Weddings from 1066 to the present day.
Professionally, Alison Weir, Kate Williams, Sarah Gristwood and Tracy Borman do events and television together, and are known affectionately, as the 'History Girls'. They bring an elan, and a passion for detail and dramatic narrative to all their subjects.
Each writer focuses on different areas of interest. Alison Weir deals with the medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods. Kate Williams scrutinises the Georgians and Victorians. Sarah Gristwood takes up the story in 1919, when Princess Patricia of Connaught revived the tradition of royal brides marrying in Westminster Abbey, and goes on to examine the weddings of the Queen Mother (1923), the Queen (1947), and Princess Margaret in 1960. Lastly, Tracy Borman brings the book right up to date, with accounts of the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer through to the fanfare that will celebrate the nuptials of Kate and William.
Every kind of wedding features - from those attended by great public celebrations, to the many that took place in private chapels, parish churches and even in secret.
Fascinating anecdotal details are revealed in the course of this most informative and entertaining overview of royal weddings through history, some amusing, some poignant, some bawdy. The Ring and the Crown places the royal wedding of the heir to the throne in historical perspective, and it does so with carefully selected illustrations that help make the authors' insights come even more vividly alive.