The Honours of Scotland are also known as the Scottish Regalia and the Scottish Crown Jewels. They date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and are the oldest surviving set of crown jewels in the British Isles. There are three primary elements of the Honours of Scotland: the crown, the sceptre, and the Sword of State. Secondary elements comprise a silver-gilt wand, three items of insignia and a ring once owned by James VII, and a necklace with a locket and pendant bequeathed to Scotland by the Duchess of Argyll in 1939.
This beautifully-produced and presented book is clearly intended for sale at Edinburgh Castle, where the Honours of Scotland are on display. It comes as a hardback edition and is replete with large numbers of stunning full-page and mainly colour images.
But you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, as they always say. "The Honours of Scotland: The Story of the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny" is written by Chris Tabraham, an archaeologist and historian, and prolific writer of very good books about Scotland's history and (especially) its castles. The book sets out to present the story of the Honours of Scotland to a popular audience, the sort of audience likely to be visiting them at Edinburgh Castle, and it does it very well indeed.
We begin with Sir Walter Scott's rediscovery of the Honours in 1818, before moving on to their historical background and creation. The story of their (at times unlikely) survival is then told, along with their more recent history and later additions. The final chapter looks at the Stone of Destiny, before the book closes with a list of kings and queens of Scotland and a nicely-illustrated tour around important royal sites in Scotland.