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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

3. Fashion and Accessories

Armour frequently followed fashions in contemporary dress. Its shape might reflect civilian silhouettes – the volume of the tassets (leg coverings), for example, often imitated fluctuations in trunk hose. A variety of metalworking techniques were also used on the surface of armour to mimic the slashing, pleating or puffing of fabric.

Mottoes, monograms, and motifs engraved on armour allowed more personal expressions of identity and status. For royal owners, these included crowns, coronets and fleurs-de-lis, as well as classical and Biblical scenes with personal significance. 

Paintings and drawings today provide important evidence of armour's original wear, and particularly of accessories like coloured linings, leather straps, sashes, and feathers which rarely survive.