Tours and Talks: Rituals of Power Through the Centuries at the Society of Antiquaries, 5th May 2023, 5-8pm (BST)

To coincide with the Coronation of Charles III on Saturday 6 May, we will be welcoming visitors to a rolling programme of show and tell sessions, tours, workshops, performances and demonstrations all exploring rituals of power through the ages.

Come and see some of our portraits of Kings and Queens and learn more about what a 1225 copy of the Magna Carta, the Great Seal of Henry VIII, Civil War pamphlets, and a colourful panorama of Queen Victoria’s coronation procession, among many others, tell us about rituals, symbols, and transfers of power.

Join us for sessions of Early Modern poetry and music. Fellow Linda Grant will be reading two poems, one each from the courts of Henry VIII and Charles II, by Thomas Wyatt and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester – the latter extremely bawdy and obscene so adults only! Each reading will be accompanied by live music from the period – and we’ll consider how these poems might contest and subvert ideas of monarchy and authoritative power.

We are also offering activities to get creative and inky with lino block printing and the chance to create your own printed badge, postcard or tote bag to take away. We have commissioned lino cut replicas of ‘royal themed’ 18th-century printing blocks, which were used to illustrate the Society’s early publications. Visitors will be guided in inking one of these blocks to print onto their chosen object.

Cocktails and victuals throughout the evening.

You can book your free time slot below. Please note that each time slot will have the same activities so please only book one slot for yourself or one slot per person in your group as we expect this event to be over-subscribed.

Please note:

  • Tours will start on the hour, each hour. Places are limited to 20 and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, regardless of if you’ve registered to come.
  • The poetry readings contain graphic, sexual and explicit content that will not be appropriate for minors.

For those with accessibility needs, the show and tell session in our Library can be reached via our lift, which can fit one standard wheelchair inside it, without a carer.

This event is in person at Burlington House only. Please select the appropriate ticket below.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Reserve your tickets here


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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