When

  • Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

History of the Line of Kings

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.

Royal armour and surprising tales

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...

Centuries of visitors

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 Armouries

History of the exhibition Discover the timeline

The horses richly caparisoned, seemed ready to rush into battle.

César de Saussure, 1725

Marvel at the imposing White Tower, a magnificent example of Norman architecture situated right at the heart of the Tower.

Open daily

Iron spikes descending from a stone arch, a portcullis

Over the centuries there have been many battles at the Tower of London. Explore the Tower’s early years as a formidable historic fortress.

Open Daily

One of the undoubted highlights of a visit to Hampton Court Palace is the sparkling re-creation of Henry VIII's crown on display in the Royal Pew.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Browse more history and stories

Six Wives Charm Bracelet.  An intriguing royal heraldic charm bracelet with charms of Henry VIII and his six wives family crests.

Six wives charm bracelet

An intriguing royal heraldic charm bracelet with charms of Henry VIII and his six wives family crests.

£24.99

This set of wooden stacking dolls includes Henry VIII and his six wives who lived at Hampton Court Palace.

Henry VIII and his wives stacking doll

This set of wooden stacking dolls includes Henry VIII and his six wives who lived at Hampton Court Palace.

£29.99

500 facts about Tudor King Henry VIII of England, one of Hampton Court Palace's most famous residents.

Henry VIII: 500 Facts

500 facts about Tudor King Henry VIII of England, one of Hampton Court Palace's most famous residents.

£12.99