Mobile menu
photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Dagger (kris) and sheath

RCIN 62062

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

Your share link is...


Between 1869 and 1871, Queen Victoria’s second eldest son, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, undertook a naval tour as captain of the frigate HMS Galatea. The two-part cruise included South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China and India, with numerous opportunities to meet local rulers and dignitaries. Many presented lavish gifts, reflecting the finest local tradition and craft. In Malaysia, the Chief of Keru and Tampin gave this kris to the prince on 9 December 1869. The long, straight blade is similar to ancient kris used for the execution of criminals, designed to penetrate the heart from a point by the collarbone.

The prince wrote that it was his ‘good fortune to enjoy unusual opportunities of bringing together a collection of objects of various descriptions, specimens of Oriental art, such as bronzes, porcelain and brocades, of arms of different nations, and of natural history’. On his return home, he suggested exhibiting 700 of the decorative objects, paintings and hunting trophies he had acquired at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A). The two-month exhibition took place in 1872 and received 30,000 visitors in its first week. Afterwards, the prince displayed this kris and other weapons he had collected at his London residence, Clarence House.