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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

Adriaen Hanneman (1604-71)

William III (1650-1702) when Prince of Orange Signed and dated 1664

RCIN 405640

Privy Chamber, Kensington Palace

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During the Civil War, distinctive features of dress were developed to enable identification of the enemy in the smoke-filled and confusing battlefield. Coloured silk sashes were worn by officers and cavalry as a mark of rank and are frequently depicted in portraiture of the period, either extending diagonally across the body or tied around the waist. Occasionally, they were worn tied around the upper arm, as in this portrait of William, Prince of Orange (1650–1702), the future William III.

Portraits reveal that many colours were used for sashes and these may have related to heraldic colours or the livery of the colonel for the troop, or else simply reflected the availability of fabric. For the ordinary soldier a coloured sash was not an option, but coloured hat bands or field signs such as sprig of rosemary worn in the hat were also used to differentiate friend from foe.