Archives of the Royal Households

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Imperial Majesty
Jan 9, 2013
I was researching and thought it would be interesting to have a topic about the Archives of the Royal Houses here on TRF:


The Royal Archives were first established in 1914, during the early years of the reign of King George V. The need for an archive for the papers of the Royal Family and the Royal Household had become evident only a few years earlier, following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.
Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII, appointed Lord Esher as the first Keeper of the Royal Archives shortly after Victoria’s death. A few years later, following King George V’s declaration in 1912 that ‘All the Royal Archives shall be kept in a Strong Room or Rooms in the Round Tower’, work began to construct a Muniment Room in the top half of the medieval Great Hall in the Round Tower. The first records were transferred to the new Muniment Room in 1914.


The Bernadotte family archive, founded in 1893, contains, among other things, the personal files of the royal members of the Bernadotte family over two centuries. The archive is closely linked to the Bernadotte Library and is frequently used for research.

The Royal House archive is the documentation and organization center. Therefore, it involves recording and storing all archival material. There is cooperation with the National Archives in the delivery of historical archival material.

Considerable work is undertaken to document the activities of the Royal Household at home and abroad, as well as the ongoing functioning of the organization throughout the year.


Her Majesty the Queen's archives are not identical to the Royal Archives, which are located at the National Archives.

The Queen's Archives contains a series of archive collections from members of the Royal House, the Court and people connected to it. Most often these are private letters, small print and papers, which is why access to them is not granted without prior authorization. The organization and recording of archives is based on a principle of provenance.

The archives include extensive collections of clippings, access to which does not require special authorization, but which, due to their fragility, require a reasoned request to the Manual Library.


The Imperial Household Archives holds specific historical public documents, etc., created or acquired by the Ministry of the Imperial Household, the Imperial Household Office and the Imperial Household Agency since the Meiji period.
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