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In order to pursue his ambitions in France, Henry VIII formed an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. This painting records their meeting and the main events pertaining to Henry’s first campaign against the French in 1513.

The composit

An introduction to European armour in the Royal Collection

Unknown Person

The Queen's Guard Chamber, Windsor Castle

circa 1890circa 1895

RCIN 2935673

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In 1828 Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, a pioneer of modern armour studies, was summoned to a 'long private audience' with George IV (1762–1830) at Windsor Castle. After the meeting, Meyrick was commissioned to re-organise the arms and armour in the King’s and Queen’s Guard Chambers there. The redisplay, completed in 1831 during the reign of William IV, included 12 armours ‘Cleaned, Repaired, and placed upon Effigies’ in front of elaborate trophies of arms.

A description of the new displays published in 1835 described 'tasteful groups' of ancient weapons formed to resemble 'stars, laurel branches and such like devices'. All the arms nevertheless remained 'in a fit state to be put together at a moment’s notice' if required. The principal point of attraction over the chimneypiece was the ‘Cellini’ shield (RCIN 62978), which was 'placed on a pivot, so that by turning it round, the bystander can conveniently inspect every portion'. The shield is visible in this photograph, taken c.1890–5, along with three armours belonging to Henry, future Prince of Wales (RCINs 72830, 72831 and 72832).