Once upon a time, the young Roy Strong spent many hours, with the encouragement of Sir Anthony Wagner, researching the records of the College of Arms in connection with his interest in Elizabethan and Stuart portraits and pageantry. This resulted in what many regard as his best work, Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals. Now, 50 years and 24 books later, he has trawled the heralds’ records again, this time for a history of the English coronation service from its Saxon origins to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The result is a well organised, sympathetic and fascinating account of the central ritual of the English people. This is a serious book with a full scholarly apparatus of notes, bibliography, charts, chronologies and index.