Television: Family Jewels

Royal Heritage

When Shakespeare called England "this royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle," he was merely stating the facts. For more than 900 years British monarchs have bought, begged, borrowed and stolen enough treasure to sink the island: castles, palaces, crowns and jewels, fabulous bric-a-brac, artistic masterpieces beyond prodigality.

Much of the collection has never been shown publicly. Royal Heritage, which starts this week on PBS, was prepared by the BBC as its contribution to Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee last year. The Queen and several members of her family were persuaded to appear...

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