Line of Kings

Marvel at the historic armour of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.

Marvel at the historic armour of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission (members go free) Buy Tower of London tickets

Royal armour and surprising tales

The magnificent tournament armour of Henry VIII and the gilded armours of Charles I and James II take pride of place in the Line of Kings in the White Tower.

The fabulous silvered and engraved armour of Henry VIII was made for the young, slender King in c1510-15. This is the earliest of the six surviving armours of Henry VIII, made for him when he cut a dashing figure on horseback!

There are many other rare and superbly-crafted pieces made for noblemen as well as common soldiers. The Royal Armouries have 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...

In partnership with the Royal Armouries.

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

César de Saussure, 1725

Three suits of armour in cases in the Line of Kings Exhibition in the White Tower of the Tower of London. The two on the left were made for King Henry VIII (as a young boy and as an older man) and the one on the right was made for King Charles I.

History of the Line of Kings

The Line of Kings was created in the 17th century and is one of the earliest museum exhibits. It was installed for King Charles II by the Royal Armouries to promote the restored monarchy.

Historic armours were displayed on life-like wooden figures, including those of Henry VIII, Charles I and later James II, in a parade of beautifully-carved horses.

Queens and less popular monarchs were left out as they didn't 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. Today, you can enjoy a display that combines this fascinating Tower story with amazing royal objects and their individual histories.

Centuries of visitors

When you visit the Line of Kings, you're following in the footsteps of 350 years of visitors from all over the world.

Read what visitors throughout history have thought of the exhibition, and leave your own impressions for future guests.

History of the exhibition Timeline of Line of Kings
View of the White Tower exterior
Things to see Highlights

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

Open daily

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A woman and child interact with an armoury exhibit in Armoury in Action within the White Tower of the Tower of London
Families Things to see

Shoot arrows, assemble firearms and brandish a sword in this exciting, hands-on experience in the White Tower.

Open daily

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A Tower of London warden speaks to a visitor in the White Tower
Tours and talks

Explore the beautiful Chapel of St John the Evangelist and hear tales of famous old residents at the Tower with an expert warden.

Daily

Tower of London

10:45, 12:45 and 14:15

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Lionheart sword is a representation of the sword that Richard I, fearless warrior, carried in his quest for Jerusalem.

Richard the Lionheart sword

The Lionheart sword is a representation of the sword that Richard I, fearless warrior, carried in his quest for Jerusalem.

£200.00

Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.

Medieval armour - gauntlets

Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.

£150.00

Miniature armour - suit of armour made to one-third the scale of the original.

Miniature armour - suit of armour

Replicating European suits of armour from the second half of the 16th century, this fully articulated suit of armour is made to one-third the scale of the original.

£300.00