The Queen to Host a Reception for Contributors to the New Miniature Library Collection

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Image Credit: Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2024
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Image Credit: Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2024


Tuesday 30th January 2024

Her Majesty The Queen will host a reception at Windsor Castle for authors, illustrators and binders who have been involved in the new Miniature Library collection displayed alongside Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House for visitors to enjoy throughout 2024 in celebration of its centenary year.

Her Majesty The Queen, Champion of the Modern-Day Miniature Library project, will be received at Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House by Royal Collection Trust’s Curator of Books and Manuscripts, Ms Elizabeth Ashby and Royal Collection Trust’s Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Ms Kathryn Jones.

The Queen will be given a short tour of the Dolls’ House, which has been re-presented to mark its 100th anniversary.

Her Majesty will then view 20 works by leading writers and illustrators who have contributed their own miniature manuscripts – penned and decorated by hand and bound by leading designer-bookbinders – as part of the anniversary initiative to establish a Modern-Day Miniature Library, providing a snapshot of contemporary literature in Britain.

The contributors are:

• Simon Armitage, There was a steep grass bank then a field, bound by Matthew Stockl, Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.

• Alan Bennett, The Mantelpiece, bound by Andreas Maroulis, Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.

• Malorie Blackman, A Message to Jessica, bound by Bayntun-Riviere. Illustrations by Elizabeth Mira Morrison.

• Lucy Caldwell, Intimacies, bound by Gillian Stewart, Juju Books. Illustrations by Orla Routh (age 5 3⁄4).

• Joseph Coelho, An Abecedarius of the Very Teeny: and other poems, bound by Matthew Stockl, Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.

• Imtiaz Dharker, The Welcome, bound by Flora Ginn.

• Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo, bound by Glenn Bartley, Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.

• Bernardine Evaristo, The African Origins of the United Kingdom, bound by Sue Doggett.

• Sebastian Faulks, Music for a Dolls’ House, 1924–2024, bound by Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

• Philippa Gregory, Richard my Richard: a play, bound by Stuart Brockman, Brockman Bookbinders.

• Robert Hardman, The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, 6.V.2023, bound by Ted Bennett. Illustrations by Phoebe Hardman (age 14).

• Anthony Horowitz, A Tiny Ghost Story, bound by Angela James.

• Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, bound by Hannah Brown.

• Ben Okri, Poems, bound by Rachel Ward-Sale, Bookbinders of Lewes.

• Tom Parker Bowles, A Recipe Fit for a Queen, bound by Andreas Maroulis, Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.

• Elif Shafak, Aisha woke up from troubled dreams, bound by Haein Song.

• Tom Stoppard, Kolya’s Glove, bound by Lester Capon.

• Sarah Waters, Underhand House: part one, bound by Christopher Shaw.

• A. N. Wilson, The Residents: a poem, bound by Peter Jones.

• Jacqueline Wilson, The House Mouse: translated from Mouse Squeaks, bound by Eri Funazaki.

Her Majesty will then join authors, illustrators and binders who have contributed to the library project in the Waterloo Chamber. Here, another centenary display featuring miniature items usually housed within the Dolls’ House, will be on show so that visitors can appreciate the detail and craftsmanship of each object up close.

To conclude the reception, Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, will deliver a speech and present Her Majesty with her own miniature book. This will be the first time Her Majesty sees her own bound contribution – a handwritten introduction to the project.

The book has been bound in the Royal Bindery at Windsor Castle and will feature as part of a special ‘Modern-Day Miniature Library’ display after the reception and throughout 2024 as part of the anniversary activities available for visitors to Windsor Castle.

In her introduction, which is itself written in a miniature book, Her Majesty says:

‘For me, it is the library that is the most breath-taking space in the house’

and praises the contribution of all involved:

‘These new books highlight the incredible richness of twenty-first century Literary talent – and demonstrate how fortunate we are to have access to so many outstanding writers, whose work brings joy, comfort, laughter, companionship and hope to us all, opening our eyes to others’ experiences and reminding us that we are not alone.’

The reception will conclude with a group photograph.

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