The Line of Kings was originally one of the earliest museum exhibits, created in the seventeenth century for King Charles II out of the Royal Armouries to promote the restored monarchy after the Commonwealth. Historic armours, including those of Henry VIII, Charles I and later James II were displayed in a parade of beautifully-carved horses with life-like wooden figures of the historic kings. Queens and less popular monarchs were left out as they did play a part in this royal message to early Tower visitors.
Over the centuries the Line of Kings has been re-arranged a number of times, but today you can enjoy a new display which combines this fascinating Tower story with these amazing royal objects and their individual histories.
The magnificent tournament armour of King Henry VIII and the gilded armours of Charles I and James II take pride of place in this royal display. However, there are many other rare and superbly-crafted pieces made for noblemen as well as common soldiers. The Royal Armouries have also always featured extraordinary curiosities, such as the historic armours worn by Henry VIII, Charles I and James II, and many original, life-sized 17th century wooden horses and kings’ heads. These wooden heads were individually carved to show the likenesses of historic monarchs.
The Royal Armouries have also always featured extraordinary curiosities. Discover the armours of the ‘Giant’, the ‘Dwarf’ and the gift from the ‘Great Mogul’. These intriguing objects may not be quite what they seem...
Visitors to the Line of Kings are following in the footsteps of 350 years of VIP guests and tourists from all over the world. Read what historical visitors thought of the exhibition and leave your own impressions for future guests.
In partnership with the Royal ArmouriesHistory of the exhibition Discover the timeline
Marvel at the imposing White Tower, a magnificent example of Norman architecture situated right at the heart of the Tower.
Over the centuries there have been many battles at the Tower of London. Explore the Tower’s early years as a formidable historic fortress.