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Nymph reclining with a nymph playing a lyre

Learn more about art works that make up the Royal Collection

Wardrobe Papers and Royal Household Papers

Sir Fleetwood Edwards was an army officer and courtier. He was one of Queen Victoria’s most trusted advisors from 1895 until her death in 1901.Signed and dated: R. Swoboda 89. Inscribed on the back with the name of the artist and the date, 1889.

Lt.Col. Sir Fleetwood Edwards (1842-1910), Keeper of the Privy Purse ©

As the Royal Archives were not established until the twentieth century, most records for the Royal Household are stored at The National Archives in Kew. However, records from 1901 onwards, as well as some material from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, are held by the Royal Archives.

Among the historic papers of the Royal Household stored in the Archives are:

  • The papers of the Privy Purse Office from the Victorian period to the present.
  •  Some nineteenth century records of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office relating to Windsor Castle.
  • Some records of the Lord Steward’s (now Master of the Household’s) Department from the Regency to present.
  • Records of the Royal Mews from the 1760s onwards.

In 1914, the Duke of Buccleuch presented King George V with the Great Wardrobe papers kept by his ancestors, the Dukes of Montagu. This collection of warrants, bills and receipts relates to the purchase of furniture, furnishings, liveries and ceremonial robes covering the period 1660 to 1749. It is worth noting that The National Archives also holds a comprehensive set of Great Wardrobe records covering the period 1516–1920 (TNA LC 5).

Private Royal Estates

The Royal Archives also holds material relating to the private estates of the Royal Family. This includes records of the Balmoral and Sandringham Estates from the nineteenth century onwards, Privy Purse records regarding the Osborne Estate on the Isle of Wight, until its presentation to the nation by King Edward VII, and records relating to the management of the estate at Windsor from the nineteenth century onwards.