The Queen’s vast royal art collection has been inspected by a squad of guards looking for “links between empire and slavery”.

THE Queen’s massive art collection is tested “awake” so as not to upset Snowflakes.

Curators are reviewing plays “in terms of race, slavery, empire and disability” amid mounting objections to the royal family’s past.

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The Queen’s art collection is tested “awake” so as not to upset SnowflakesPhoto credit: Getty
The collection includes a portrait of Sir Thomas Picton - dubbed the Hero of Waterloo - whose description has added his links to the slave trade

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The collection includes a portrait of Sir Thomas Picton – dubbed the Hero of Waterloo – whose description has added his links to the slave tradePhoto credit: Royal Collection

Over the last year, more than 2,500 paintings, photographs and works of art – including exhibitions at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – have been scrutinized.

Some that could potentially provoke outrage have since had their terminology changed or updated to align with modern “attitudes”.

A source said: “In many cases it’s as simple as changing a caption to add names of those involved and changing colonial place names to local ones.

“But it’s definitely being done with an eye on how attitudes have changed in recent years.”

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The Royal Collection Trust, which conducts the ongoing review, has not revealed exactly how many failed the guard test.

But they do include a portrait of Sir Thomas Picton – dubbed the Hero of Waterloo – whose description has added his links to the slave trade.

The text for a 17th-century sketch by Italian artist Domenichino was also changed from “Epileptic Boy” to “Boy with Epilepsy”.

Up to 1,500 British Empire-themed photos from Edward Prince of Wales’ 1921 voyage to India have been updated to avoid causing offense, as have photos from the young King George V’s 1881 world voyage on HMS Bacchante.

Meanwhile, curators added statements to explain that more research is needed to identify individuals in photographs, including a group of men in Singapore in 1901 and Tibetan guests at the Calcutta Turf Club in 1905.

They also took pains to name specific individuals, including the only known portrait of Chinese Empress Wanrong (1906–46).

Other portraits that could potentially cause offense include former Home Secretary Henry Dundas, who delayed the abolition of slavery.

Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, who also opposed abolition, could come under scrutiny along with slave owner William Beckford.

The Queen owns the largest private art collection in the world, spread across 13 royal residences.

Some of the millions of pieces managed by the RCT date back to the time of Henry VIII more than 500 years ago. It is the first time the Trust has revealed it has carried out a “guard check” on works of art.

In its annual overview released this week, the RCT said: “The curators continued to update terminology related to race, slavery, empire and disability, and reviewed a total of 2,500 object records in the collections management system during the year.”

The move comes after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled, defaced and dumped in Bristol Harbor in June 2020.

This sparked calls for other slavery and colonial-era statues to be removed from the streets.

There are also increasingly vocal demands from across the Commonwealth for the royal family to pay reparations for slavery.

Earlier this year, Prince William and Kate’s tour of the Caribbean was marred by protests, with parts branded “tone deaf” with “heavy colonial undertones”.

In Jamaica, William expressed “deep sadness” at Britain’s role in slavery, describing the trade as “abominable” and saying “It should never have happened.”

Prince William expressed

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Prince William expressed “deep sadness” at Britain’s role in slaveryPhoto credit: Royal Collection
The RCT said:

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The RCT said: “The curators continued to work to update the terminology related to race, enslavement, empire and disability.”Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust ©

Prince Charles also called it a “horrifying atrocity” that “stains our history forever”.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan last year claimed an unnamed royal made racist comments about their unborn children.

The royal households have now started to publish the percentage of staff from an ethnic minority. Buckingham Palace announced last year that it had a goal of 10 percent diversity by the end of 2022.

It currently stands at 9.6 percent, with William and Kate’s office at 13.6 percent and Charles and Camilla at 10.6 percent.

An RCT spokesman said: “Publicly available object records are constantly reviewed to improve the information presented on an object and/or subject.

“A reference to 2,500 object records reviewed in 2021-22 has been included in the annual report to demonstrate the scope of this curatorial work.”

The Queen owns the largest private art collection in the world

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The Queen owns the largest private art collection in the worldCredit: AFP or Licensor

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