The Museum of Freemasonry will next month put jewels owned by Edward VII, who was Grand Master before he ascended to the throne on display for the British public
For those not initiated in the ways of the brotherhood, it remains a shadowy world of intrigue.
But the Freemasons are to next month lift the lid on their proud ties to the British Royal family with the largest exhibition of their jewels ever staged.
The Museum of Freemasonry will next month put jewels owned by Edward VII, who was Grand Master before he ascended to the throne on display for the British public, explaining in full for the first time his long term relationship with the brothers.
The exhibition will see some his personal jewels, left to the museum after his death, put on display to the wider public for the first time, in an effort to tell the story of how he used his membership to mix more widely with society than he could in royal life.
Around 150 jewels, including those once owned by the Duke of Connaught, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling, will also go on display in what the museum calls the “first major exhibition of masonic jewels in the UK”.
Mark Dennis, curator, said the collection was “probably one of the largest bodies of male jewellery anywhere”, saying he aimed to “introduce people to another facet of freemasonry”.
Earlier this year, the Freemasons went public in trying to overcome their “undeservedly stigmatised” secretive reputation, with the United Grand Lodge of England placing adverts in newspapers“Enough is enough” and offering to hold public open evenings.
In September, the Museum of Freemasonry will …