Fayum mummy portraits
Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the large body of art from that tradition to have survived. Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara in the Fayum Basin, Faiyum Portraits is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period at the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt. They date to the Roman period, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards and it is not clear when their production ended, but recent research suggests the middle of the 3rd century. The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial, extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies.
Almost all have now been detached from the mummies and they usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones. Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique, one of encaustic paintings, the former are usually of higher quality. About 900 mummy portraits are known at present, the majority were found in the necropoleis of Faiyum. Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are very well preserved. The Italian explorer Pietro della Valle, on a visit to Saqqara-Memphis in 1615, was the first European to discover and he transported some mummies with portraits to Europe, which are now in the Albertinum. Although interest in Ancient Egypt steadily increased after that period, further finds of mummy portraits did not become known before the early 19th century, the provenance of these first new finds is unclear, they may come from Saqqara as well, or perhaps from Thebes.
In 1820, the Baron of Minotuli acquired several mummy portraits for a German collector, in 1827, Léon de Laborde brought two portraits, supposedly found in Memphis, to Europe, one of which can today be seen at the Louvre, the other in the British Museum. Ippolito Rosellini, a member of Jean-François Champollions 1828/29 expedition to Egypt and it is so similar to de Labordes specimens that it is thought to be from the same source. During the 1820s, the British Consul General to Egypt, Henry Salt, sent several further portraits to Paris and London. Some of them were long considered portraits of the family of the Theban Archon Pollios Soter, a character known from written sources
Regalia of Sweden
Swedens Royal Regalia are kept deep in the vaults of the Royal Treasury, underneath the Royal Palace in Stockholm, in a museum which is open to the public. The crowns and coronets have not been worn by Swedish royalty since 1907, until 1974 the crown jewels were displayed at the solemn opening of the Riksdag. Among the oldest priceless objects are the sword of Gustav Vasa, the Crown of Eric XIV, made in Stockholm in 1561 by Flemish goldsmith Cornelius ver Welden, is typical of the Renaissance style of jewelry of his time. When he was deposed by his brother, John III, John had each of these letters covered with identical cartouches each set with two pearls. However, they replaced the original orb and cross at the top of the crown with a new large orb enameled blue with star and set with diamond. This is the form the crown has in the portrait of Oscar II painted by Oscar Björck, in the early twentieth century this orb and cross and these diamond rosettes were removed and the crown restored to essentially the form it had under John III.
Eric had a scepter, an orb and a key made for his coronation and this key is an item found only in the Swedish regalia. His scepter was made by Hans Heiderick in 1561 and is of gold and set with diamonds and sapphires and it originally was surmounted by a large round sapphire at the top enclosed by two intersecting rows of pearls. This sapphire was lost at the baptism of Gustav IV Adolf and was replaced by the present dark blue enamelled orb in 1780. The orb is of gold and is unique among European regalia in that it is engraved and enamelled with a map of the according to the cartography current at the time it was made. At the top of the orb is an orb in blue enamel and covered with stars. The orb was made by Cornelius ver Weiden and probably engraved by Franz Beijer in Antwerp in 1568, the present blue enamel dates from 1751 and replaces the original black enamel that was badly damaged at the coronation of Charles XI. The original model used for the engraving is not known, but the engraver placed the northern hemisphere upside down, while placing the names where they would have been if the map were right side up.
The anointing horn was made in 1606 in Stockholm by Peter Kilimpe for the coronation of Carl IX and is of gold in the shape of s bulls horn supported by a pedestal. The large end is closed by a lip with a chain, the horn is decorated in ornamental relief work with multi-colored opaque and translucent enamel and set with 10 diamonds and 14 rubies, including 6 Karelian rubies. The burial crown and sceptre of King Carl IX are kept at Strängnäs Cathedral and these items were originally interred with his body but were exhumed and put on display. As her coronation and state crown Christina of Sweden used the crown that her mother Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg had used as the consort of Gustav II Adolph. Christina had two more added to her mothers crown matching the first two and had more diamonds and rubies added to it to enhance the crowns appearance as the crown of a queen regnant
The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign, from 1143 to 1963, the papal tiara was solemnly placed on the popes head during a papal coronation. The surviving papal tiaras are all in the form, the oldest being of 1572. A representation of the triregnum combined with two crossed keys of Saint Peter continues to be used as a symbol of the papacy and appears on documents, buildings. The papal tiara originated from a conical Phrygian cap or frigium, shaped like a candle-extinguisher, the papal tiara and the episcopal mitre were identical in their early forms. Names used for the tiara in the 8th and 9th centuries include camelaucum, pileus. A circlet of linen or cloth of gold at the base of the tiara developed into a metal crown, the first of these appeared at the base of the traditional white papal headgear in the 9th century. When the popes assumed temporal power in the Papal States, the crown became decorated with jewels to resemble the crowns of princes.
However, a fresco in the Chapel of Saint Sylvester in the church of the Santi Quattro Coronati in Rome seems to represent the Pope wearing a tiara with two bands and with lappets. The addition of a crown is attributed to Pope Benedict XI or Pope Clement V. The first years of the 16th century saw the addition of a little globe, the third crown was added to the papal tiara during the Avignon Papacy, giving rise to the form called the triregnum. After Pope Clement V at Avignon, various versions of the three-crown tiara have been worn by popes in Rome down to Pope Paul VI, who was crowned with one in 1963. The increased length had the meaning of dominion of the una sancta ecclesia over the earth. At the summit was a large ruby. Boniface VIII was succeeded in 1303 by Benedict XI, who took the tiara to Perugia, after his death in 1304 there was a period of eleven months before a new Pope succeeded. The Archbishop of Bordeaux was chosen and took the title of Clement V and he removed the papal seat from Rome to Avignon and the tiara was brought to Lyons from Perugia for his coronation on 14 November 1305.
In the inventory which was taken in 1315–16 Boniface VIIIs tiara is again described and can be identified by the mention of the large ruby and it is described as having three circlets corona quae vocatur, regnum cum tribus circuitis aureis. It therefore must have been between the taking of the two inventories in 1295 and 1315 that the second and third circlets were added to the tiara and it was during this period that the fleur-de-lis was used to decorate the circlets
Northern and Southern dynasties
The Northern and Southern dynasties was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589, following the tumultuous era of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Wu Hu states. It is sometimes considered as the part of a longer period known as the Six Dynasties. Though an age of war and political chaos, it was a time of flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology. The period saw large-scale migration of Han Chinese to the south of the Yangtze. The period came to an end with the unification of all of China proper by Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty, during this period, the process of sinicization accelerated among the non-Chinese arrivals in the north and among the indigenous people in the south. Notable technological advances occurred during this period, the invention of the stirrup during the earlier Jin dynasty helped spur the development of heavy cavalry as a combat standard. Historians note advances in medicine, mathematics, intellectuals of the period include the mathematician and astronomer Zu Chongzhi.
After the collapse of a united China under the Han dynasty in 220 due in part to the Yellow Turban. Of these, Cao Wei was the strongest, followed by Eastern Wu and Shu Han, after a 249 coup by Sima Yi, the Sima family essentially controlled Cao Wei and the conquest of Shu by Wei rapidly followed. Following a failed coup by the ruling Cao family against the Sima family, Sima Yan founded the Jin Dynasty as Emperor Wu of Jin and the conquest of Wu by Jin occurred in 280, ending the Three Kingdoms period and reuniting China. The Jin dynasty was weakened after the War of the Eight Princes from 291-306. During the reigns of Emperor Huai and Emperor Min, the country was put into danger with the uprising of the northern non-Han people collectively known as the Five Barbarians. Invading non-Han armies almost destroyed the dynasty in the Disaster of Yongjia of 311, changan met a similar fate in 316. However, a scion of the house, Sima Rui, Prince of Langya, fled south of the Huai River to salvage what was left in order to sustain the empire.
In the north, the Five Barbarians established numerous kingdoms, leading to the period being known as the Sixteen Kingdoms, the Northern Wei conquered the rest of the northern states in 386. The designation of specific households for military service in the system eventually led to a falling out in their social status. Faced with shortage of numbers, Jin generals were often sent on campaigns to capture non-Chinese people in the south in order to draft them into the military. The Northern dynasties began in 439 when the Northern Wei conquered the Northern Liang to unite northern China and it can be divided into three time periods, Northern Wei and Western Weis, Northern Qi and Northern Zhou
Diamond is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at standard conditions. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material and those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells. Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron, small amounts of defects or impurities color diamond blue, brown, purple, orange or red. Diamond has relatively high optical dispersion, most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers in the Earths mantle.
Carbon-containing minerals provide the source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years. Diamonds are brought close to the Earths surface through deep volcanic eruptions by magma, Diamonds can be produced synthetically in a HPHT method which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earths mantle. An alternative, and completely different growth technique is chemical vapor deposition, several non-diamond materials, which include cubic zirconia and silicon carbide and are often called diamond simulants, resemble diamond in appearance and many properties. Special gemological techniques have developed to distinguish natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds. The word is from the ancient Greek ἀδάμας – adámas unbreakable, the name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek αδάμας, unalterable, untamed, from ἀ-, un- + δαμάω, I overpower, I tame. Diamonds have been known in India for at least 3,000 years, Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India.
Their usage in engraving tools dates to early human history, in 1797, the English chemist Smithson Tennant repeated and expanded that experiment. By demonstrating that burning diamond and graphite releases the same amount of gas, the most familiar uses of diamonds today are as gemstones used for adornment, a use which dates back into antiquity, and as industrial abrasives for cutting hard materials. The dispersion of light into spectral colors is the primary gemological characteristic of gem diamonds. In the 20th century, experts in gemology developed methods of grading diamonds, four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs, are now commonly used as the basic descriptors of diamonds, these are carat, cut and clarity. A large, flawless diamond is known as a paragon and these conditions are met in two places on Earth, in the lithospheric mantle below relatively stable continental plates, and at the site of a meteorite strike. The conditions for diamond formation to happen in the mantle occur at considerable depth corresponding to the requirements of temperature and pressure
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires, Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire and diamond. They word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red, the color of a ruby is due to the element chromium. The quality of a ruby is determined by its color and clarity, the brightest and most valuable red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity, similar to diamonds, a stone will command a premium. Ruby is the birthstone for July and is usually more pink than garnet. The worlds most expensive ruby is the Sunrise Ruby, rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0, when a chromium atom replaces an occasional aluminum atom, it too loses 3 electrons to become a chromium3+ ion to maintain the charge balance of the Al2O3 crystal.
However, the Cr3+ ions are larger and have electron orbitals in different directions than aluminum, the octahedral arrangement of the O2− ions is distorted, and the energy levels of the different orbitals of those Cr3+ ions are slightly altered because of the directions to the O2− ions. Those energy differences correspond to absorption in the ultraviolet, violet, if one percent of the aluminum ions are replaced by chromium in ruby, the yellow-green absorption results in a red color for the gem. Additionally, absorption at any of the above wavelengths stimulates fluorescent emission of 694-nanometer-wavelength red light, after absorbing short-wavelength light, there is short interval of time when the crystal lattice of ruby is in an excited state before fluorescence occurs. If 694-nanometer photons pass through the crystal during that time, they can stimulate more fluorescent photons to be emitted in-phase with them, thus strengthening the intensity of that red light. By arranging mirrors or other means to pass emitted light repeatedly through the crystal, all natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as silk.
Gemologists use these needle inclusions found in natural rubies to distinguish them from synthetics, usually, the rough stone is heated before cutting. These days, almost all rubies are treated in some form, untreated rubies of high quality command a large premium. Some rubies show a three-point or six-point asterism or star and these rubies are cut into cabochons to display the effect properly. Asterisms are best visible with a source and move across the stone as the light moves or the stone is rotated. Such effects occur when light is reflected off the silk in a certain way and this is one example where inclusions increase the value of a gemstone
A diadem is a type of crown, specifically an ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty. The word derives from the Greek διάδημα diádēma, band or fillet, from διαδέω diadéō, I bind round, such ribbons were used to crown victorious athletes in important sports games in antiquity. It was applied to a crown, generally in a circular or fillet shape. For example, the worn by Juliana was a diadem. The ancient Celts were believed to have used a thin, semioval gold plate called a mind as a diadem. Some of the earliest examples of types of crowns can be found in ancient Egypt, from the simple fabric type to the more elaborate metallic type. A diadem is a jewelled ornament in the shape of a crown, worn by women. In some societies, it may be a wreath worn around the head, the ancient Persians wore a high and erect royal tiara encircled with a diadem. Hera, queen of the Greek gods, wore a crown called the diadem. By extension, diadem can be used generally for an emblem of power or dignity.
The head regalia worn by Roman Emperors, from the time of Diocletian onwards, is described as a diadem in the original sources and it was this object that the Foederatus general Odoacer returned to Emperor Zeno after his expulsion of the usurper Romulus Augustus from Rome in 476 CE. Civic crown Tainia Fillet Tiara Diadem
The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th, European Neoclassicism in the visual arts began c.1760 in opposition to the then-dominant Baroque and Rococo styles. Each neo-classicism selects some models among the range of classics that are available to it. They ignored both Archaic Greek art and the works of Late Antiquity, the Rococo art of ancient Palmyra came as a revelation, through engravings in Woods The Ruins of Palmyra. While the movement is described as the opposed counterpart of Romanticism. The case of the main champion of late Neoclassicism, demonstrates this especially well. The revival can be traced to the establishment of formal archaeology, the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann were important in shaping this movement in both architecture and the visual arts. With the advent of the Grand Tour, a fad of collecting antiquities began that laid the foundations of many great collections spreading a Neoclassical revival throughout Europe, Neoclassicism in each art implies a particular canon of a classical model.
In English, the term Neoclassicism is used primarily of the arts, the similar movement in English literature. This, which had been dominant for decades, was beginning to decline by the time Neoclassicism in the visual arts became fashionable. Though terms differ, the situation in French literature was similar, in music, the period saw the rise of classical music, and Neoclassicism is used of 20th-century developments. Ingress coronation portrait of Napoleon even borrowed from Late Antique consular diptychs and their Carolingian revival, much Neoclassical painting is more classicizing in subject matter than in anything else. A fierce, but often very badly informed, dispute raged for decades over the merits of Greek and Roman art, with Winckelmann. The work of artists, who could not easily be described as insipid, combined aspects of Romanticism with a generally Neoclassical style. Unlike Carstens unrealized schemes, the etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi were numerous and profitable and his main subject matter was the buildings and ruins of Rome, and he was more stimulated by the ancient than the modern.
Neoclassicism in painting gained a new sense of direction with the success of Jacques-Louis Davids Oath of the Horatii at the Paris Salon of 1785. Despite its evocation of republican virtues, this was a commission by the royal government, David managed to combine an idealist style with drama and forcefulness. David rapidly became the leader of French art, and after the French Revolution became a politician with control of government patronage in art
Mannheim Palace is a large Baroque palace in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was originally the residence of the Prince-electors of the Electorate of the Palatinate of the House of Wittelsbach. Part of the palace is used by the University of Mannheim, the State of Baden-Württemberg offers tours of parts of the reconstructed and restored Baroque palace, which features tapestries, paintings and silverware. The actual palace dates from the 18th century, when Elector Karl III Philip had confessional controversies with the inhabitants of his capital Heidelberg, he decided to make Mannheim the Palatinates new capital in 1720. Karl Philip decided to construct a new palace as his residence on the site of the old Friedrichsburg and it was part of a general trend among the German princes to create grand new residences in that era. Construction was commenced solemnly on June 2,1720, the first administrative institutions began using the palace in 1725, but Karl Philip was able to transfer his court to the new residence only in 1731.
Construction was not completed until 1760, Karl Philip died in 1742 and was succeeded by a distant relative, the young Karl Theodor. During his reign, the palace and the city of Mannheim saw their zenith, the glamour of the Electors court and Mannheims famous cultural life lasted until 1778, when Karl Theodor became Elector of Bavaria by inheritance and he moved his court to Munich. Although Mannheim kept the title of “residence”, the palace was used merely as accommodation for several administrative bodies, things worsened further during the Napoleonic Wars, when Mannheim was besieged. During Napoleons reorganization of Germany, the Electorate of the Palatinate was split up and Mannheim became part of the Grand Duchy of Baden, some glamour returned to Mannheim Palace when Stéphanie de Beauharnais, the consort of Grand Duke Karl of Baden, resided here after 1806. For most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the palace served no purpose, being used as a representative building. In World War II, the palace was bombed and partly destroyed.
Many people supported demolishing it after the war to create space for a modern city architecture. These plans came to nothing and the palace was reconstructed, the college expanded its subjects program in 1967, thus gaining “university” status. The site of the palace is impressive, although the construction of roads, to the southwest, it faces the Rhine and Ludwigshafen. To the northeast the palace presents its 450 m long front to the Mannheim city centre, by surrounding an area of 6 hectare the castle is one of Europes biggest Palaces and the second biggest one in barock style, second only after Versailles. Thereby and for reasons of prestige the architects made sure that Mannheim Palace has one more window than Versailles, the Breite Straße runs from the palace to Mannheims central square, the Paradeplatz. The central part of the palace is the Mittelbau with its representative halls, the Mittelbau holds university library halls and the Rittersaal hall
Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall is the title held by the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. Duke of Cornwall is a non-hereditary peerage held by the British Sovereigns eldest son, the current Duchess of Cornwall is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, since her 9 April 2005 marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales. In Scotland the couple use the title Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, since the title of Duke of Cornwall can be held only by an heir-apparent who is the eldest son of the monarch, no woman can be Duchess of Cornwall in her own right. However, this may change now that proposals to change the rules of succession are completed, the first Duchess of Cornwall was Joan The Fair Maid of Kent, who, in October 1361, married Edward, the Black Prince. Catherine of Aragon was Duchess of Cornwall through her marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales, before the present Duchess, the most recent Duchess of Cornwall was Diana, Princess of Wales. During this period, she was usually styled Princess of Wales, in both cases they were known by the title for only a few months between their respective fathers-in-laws accession to the throne and their husbands creation as Prince of Wales.
Prior to the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles and she does not use the title Princess of Wales, because it is still popularly associated with the former wife of the Prince of Wales, Princess of Wales. It is intended that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will upon her husbands succession to the throne, become HRH The Princess Consort, shakespeares King Lear includes the character Regan, Duchess of Cornwall, Lears second daughter. Marion Zimmer Bradleys The Mists of Avalon included the fictional character Morgaine as the Duchess of Cornwall through inheritance, mother of King Arthur, was Duchess of Cornwall when she caught the eye of King Uther Pendragon in many retellings of Arthurian legend. Duke of Cornwall Duchy of Cornwall The Duchess of Cornwalls Official Website BBC News report
Iranian Crown Jewels
The collection is housed at The Treasury of National Jewels but is known colloquially as the Jewellery Museum. It is situated inside the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tehrans Ferdowsi Avenue, the museum is open to the public from 14,00 to 16,30 hrs except on Wednesday and Friday. The museum has onsite guides with knowledge of Persian, French, there are guide booklets available in English, French, German and Arabic. The majority of the now in the collection were acquired by the Safavid dynasty. Afghans invaded Iran in 1719 and sacked the capital of Isfahan. By 1729, after a struggle of nearly a decade. In 1738, the Shah launched his own campaign against the Afghan homeland and these included diamonds, rubies and other precious gemstones. Four of the most prominent acquisitions from this conquest were the Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds, the Peacock Throne, the crown jewels were last used by the Pahlavi dynasty, the last to rule Iran. The Iranian crown jewels are considered so valuable that they are used as a reserve to back Iranian currency.
In 1937, during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, ownership of the Imperial treasury was transferred to the state. The jewels were placed in the vaults of the National Bank of Iran and this important economic role is perhaps one reason why these jewels, undeniable symbols of Irans monarchic past, have been retained by the current Islamic Republic. Because of their value and economic significance, the Iranian crown jewels were for centuries kept far from public view in the vaults of the Imperial treasury. When the Iranian revolution toppled the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, it was feared that in the chaos the Iranian crown jewels had been stolen or sold by the revolutionaries. Although in fact some smaller items were stolen and smuggled across Irans borders and this became evident when the revolutionary government under the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani re-opened the permanent exhibition of the Iranian crown jewels to the public in the 1990s. The Royal Mace of Iran is a ceremonial mace, a part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.
It was a favorite of Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar, who is shown holding it in his miniature portraits. The mace is encrusted with spinels and diamonds, from end to end, the largest diamond weighs 17 carats, and is located on the very top of the mace. The largest spinels are the six surrounding the top of the mace, the Mystery of the Nur al-Ayn Diamond, in, Gems & Jewellery, The Gemmological Association of Great Britain vol
Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand since 6 February 1952. Elizabeth was born in London as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake duties during the Second World War. Elizabeths many historic visits and meetings include a visit to the Republic of Ireland. She has seen major changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation. She has reigned through various wars and conflicts involving many of her realms and she is the worlds oldest reigning monarch as well as Britains longest-lived. In October 2016, she became the longest currently reigning monarch, in 2017 she became the first British monarch to commemorate a Sapphire Jubilee. Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the family, support for the monarchy remains high.
Elizabeth was born at 02,40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather and her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfathers London house,17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. Elizabeths only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930, the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford, who was casually known as Crawfie. Lessons concentrated on history, language and music, Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margarets childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family. The book describes Elizabeths love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, others echoed such observations, Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as a character. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant and her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved.
During her grandfathers reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father, the Duke of York. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, many people believed that he would marry and have children of his own. When her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, that year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Consequently, Elizabeths father became king, and she became heir presumptive, if her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession