Be taken back in time with Dr Tessa Dunlop on 24 February at 7pm as she examines the 75-year royal marriage in her new book, Elizabeth and Phillip, and donate items to create a royal reminiscence box.

The twentieth-century historian joins the impressive line-up for Portsmouth City Council’s Bookfest, which celebrates literature in all forms, running from Monday 13 February to Sunday 5 March.

Dunlop will draw on original newspaper archives, and be available for a Q&A and attendees will be able to purchase a copy of her book and can get it signed.

Her visit coincides with developing a new reminiscence box of regal themes, which aims to trigger memories and promote discussions in people affected by dementia or memory loss.

The reminiscence boxes in Portsmouth Central Library, have already proven to be a social and cognitive success.

To honour the passing of the late Queen and the world’s longest reigning monarch, Portsmouth City Council wishes to create a Royalty box that covers events in living memory. The council are asking for donations.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of the Council, thinks “reminiscence boxes are a lovely way to reignite memories in everyone, but it is particularly wonderful when those who suffer with dementia or other types of memory loss, recalls where they were when they heard historical news, what they were feeling or who they were with. These seemingly small details can be of huge comfort to the person recollecting, as well as the friends and family who can hear their loved one remembering.

“We have multiple themed boxes meaning there is something for everyone to relate to. It’s a great conversation starter to bring people in the community together and it’s an initiative that I’m truly proud to have in the city.”

Donations can be of any genuine commemorative items associated with significant Royal events such as births, deaths, marriages, or visits to Portsmouth by Royalty – this could include photographs or personal stories.

For more information, or to check the item’s suitability, contact or message them through their Facebook page with a photograph of your object (if possible) and a description of its connection to your memories of royalty.

Please do not donate anything of high monetary value or objects larger than 30cms in any dimension.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip on their wedding day, on Buckingham Palace Balcony waving to the crowd