Collectors of British books are familiar with the red-covered souvenir photo albums produced during the reign of the then-current monarch. Easiest to find are the "Royal" Albums; less common are the "Imperial" Albums, produced back in the day when Britain still had an empire. So, I was very pleased to find the following offered by an auction house a few years ago:
When involved with any auction, always set a limit that you will pay for any item, and stick to that limit, no matter what. It's all too easy to catch "auction fever" and get carried away, bidding more than you want, sometimes more than you can afford; and always be sure to check what the auction commission will be, and include that in your limit.
Now, as you may have inferred from the blog's title, the book was not my only acquisition that day, as I discovered when I opened the book. Evidently this book formerly belonged to a person who cared about the rulers of the realm for I found...
A photograph of the funeral of Edward VII (Victoria's son) on 20 May 1910, a somber Friday, marking the end of a reign all too short; his mother would have been surprised at what an able ruler he proved to be.
And, also a news clipping marking the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as a newspaper clipping showing the Queen Mum. The Queen Mum (Queen Mother) was, of course, Queen Elizabeth, widow of George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II. She was much loved by the British people, and her death in 2002 was a time of great mourning. She and her husband, who guided Britain through the turbulent years of WW2, recently re-entered the public consciousness due to the recent very fine film The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth as the king who had to overcome a serious speech impediment so he could adequately and confidently speak for a nation going to war.
Another item of note found within the pages of the book is a clipping showing the Sultan of Oman during his visit to England to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and was given a grand reception. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who deposed his paranoiac father in 1970, was able to repay the British Queen 34 years later, when she paid a State visit to Oman, with a celebration that was grand in every way.
The book was a treasure trove of photographs and newspaper clippings. According to the auction statement, the book was part of an estate in Beverly Hills. When attending an auction, always arrive early so you have a chance to properly view the items, as that will help you set your limits. I have to admit, though, that I did not get a chance to view it ahead of time, and so set my limit based solely on the book alone.
Sometimes, you just get lucky...