I came across an interesting book last night I had never heard of before, and which I was able to purchase. It is called the
Princess Elizabeth Gift Book
As one can tell from the title, it is associated with "Princess Elizabeth" (who is, of course, now Queen Elizabeth II). It was published in 1935, and was a collaborative effort of many famous authors of the day in producing a book intended as a fundraiser in aid of the Princess Elizabeth of York hospital for children. The Queen was 9 (I think) at the time of its publication, and doing some Googling, I read somewhere that it was the first book to which she had set her name. I also read that Rudyard Kipling wrote the last story he was ever to write as his contribution to the book (He died the next year, if I recall correctly).
In any case, what should not come as any surprise at all, the reason that I am mentioning this on this blog is that one of the contributors to the book was G.K. Chesterton. I find it interesting to find this "connection" of sorts between Queen Elizabeth and G.K. Chesterton. It is now the second "connection" I have found., the other being that one of the wedding gifts
which Princess Elizabeth received in 1947 (from Sir James Gunn) were the preliminary sketches to the Conversation Piece.
As Jospeh Pearce notes concerning the latter:
The future Queen replied on 16 December to offer "our most sincere thanks for the delightful picture of Mr. Chesterton, Mr. Belloc and Mr. Maurice Baring...I think it perfectly charming, and much look forward to hanging it in my house."
UPDATE: I just came across this information, related to the latter connection, found in a book review of a book on Clarence House (emphasis mine):
THIS sumptuously produced and beautifully illustrated volume contains "all ye need to know" about the home of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (and that is perhaps more than loyal curiosity could have expected to be told about the borne of the Heir Apparent fifty years ago). Feeling rather like an inquisitive intruder on visitors' day, the reader is allowed to peer at the contents of most of the rooms in great detail—from the photographs on Princess Elizabeth's desk to the sensible fireguard in the nursery. The house has been furnished with unostentatious good taste, and is filled with treasures of all kinds. One of the few things a diffident visitor might be doubtful about is the brick-work in Her Royal Highness's sitting-room fireplace. Nearby hangs James Gunn's sketch for his "Conversation Piece" of Chesterton, Belloc and Baring: there are many other works by modern artists on the walls, and also an interesting Edinburgh scene by Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840).
-The Spectator, February 3, 1950
contains a picture of the sitting room at the then Princess Elizabeth's home, with the preliminary sketch of The Conversation Piece
hanging on the wall: