Royal connections in our collections

A locket given to Charles II by his mistress, a book which helped Henry VIII annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and an elaborate royal loo are among the extraordinary objects in our collection which have links with royalty. Here are a few of our favourite royal connections.

The view through the Topiary Garden to Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

The Juxon Bible in the Library at Chastleton belonged to William Juxon, the Bishop of London, who attended Charles I on the scaffold at his execution. Juxon's home at Little Compton was just a mile from Chastleton and the bible was given to Chastleton's Jones family by his descendants. Family legend has it that the bible was used by Charles I in his last days and was read to him by Juxon on the scaffold.

The south front of Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire

Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire

The Graham family of Nunnington Hall supported the Jacobite cause and the claim of Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', to the throne. Stuart relics including a ring containing Bonnie Prince Charlie's hair, and a fragment of a tartan plaid cloak belonging to 'The Young Pretender' can be viewed in the Oak Hall as part of the Hamilton Collection.

Gatehouse, garden and house at Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock, Cornwall

A book in the library at Lanhydrock once belonged to Henry VIII and was used to help him build a case for the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. An inventory number discovered inside the book identified it as once belonging to Henry's chief library at Westminster Palace.

Visitors enjoying a tour at Coughton by a guide in costume

Coughton Court, Warwickshire

A chemise believed to have been worn by Mary, Queen of Scots, when she was beheaded can be seen in The Tribune at Coughton Court, along with her death mask. Studies of the weave and stitching of the chemise have confirmed it dates from the correct period. A dark purple cope said to have been embroidered by Catherine of Aragon and her ladies-in-waiting following the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII is also on display.

Knole's west front was built by Henry VIII

Knole, Kent

Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, worked as Lord Chamberlain for William and Mary. When the queen died in 1694, he was allowed to help himself to furniture from the palaces of Whitehall and Hampton Court as 'perquisites of office' (from which we get the word 'perk') and brought a number of chairs, which are displayed in the Brown Gallery. The crimson velvet upholstered chest in the King's Closet in fact an elaborate chamber pot, which was almost certainly used by Charles II or James II. It would have been kept in the 'dark closet' – in France such rooms were known as lieux d'aisance (places of easement) which is where we get the English word 'loo' from.

The house seen over the Knot Garden at Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire

Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire

The collection of romantic trinkets with links to Charles II at Moseley Old Hall includes a heart-shaped locket believed to have been given to him by his mistress Lucy Walter. The locket, which is on show in the Exhibition Room, is inscribed 'Cupids dart possess thy heart'. Charles II hid from Cromwell's troops at the Elizabethan farmhouse after he fled the Battle of Worcester.

A four-poster bed dated 1675 and the bay window

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

The Marian Hangings, needlework panels made by Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bess of Hardwick between 1569 and 1584, can be found in the Hangings Room at Oxburgh Hall. Scissors thought to have been used by Mary, Queen of Scots, are also on display in the King's Room.

The parterre and south front of the house at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Queen Victoria placed a posy of primroses on the tomb of her favourite Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, following his death on 19 April 1881. The dried bouquet can be seen in the Disraeli Room at Hughenden, the statesman's former home.

Powis Castle East Front

Powis Castle, Powys

The rosary on show in the Gateway Room at Powis Castle was believed by the Herbert family to have belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. Although there's no proof of its ownership, the rosary dates from the right era. A locket holding a small piece of wood taken from her bed frame and a small piece of textile taken from her bed curtains at Holyrood is also on show.

Polesden Lacey in Surrey

Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Edward VII was the guest of honour at Mrs Greville's first house party at Polesden Lacey in 1909. According to a note inside it, an oval tortoiseshell snuff box with a shagreen lid bearing the cypher of the King in silver was given to Mrs Greville the same year in gratitude for her hospitality. It can be seen in the Saloon.