Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures

The office of the Surveyor of the King's/Queen's Pictures, in the Royal Collection Department of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, is responsible for the care and maintenance of the royal collection of pictures owned by the Sovereign in an official capacity – as distinct from those owned privately and displayed at Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle and elsewhere. The office has only been full-time since 1972. It now operates in a professional capacity with a staff of a dozen people. As of the end of 2020, the position has been put in abeyance.

Although the office dates from 1625, there has always been someone responsible for pictures in the Royal Household. Notable recent office-holders have included Sir Lionel Cust (1901–1927), Sir Kenneth Clark (1934–1944), Professor Anthony Blunt (1945–1972), one of the infamous Cambridge Five, and Sir Oliver Millar (1972–1988). The post of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures is currently in abeyance; the most recent was Desmond Shawe-Taylor, who held the post from 2005 to 2020.[1][2]

List of Surveyors of the King's/ Queen's PicturesEdit


  1. ^ "Press Release: Appointment of new Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures, The Royal Collection". Royal Collection. 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
  2. ^ "Queen's art experts leave as Covid hits royal finances". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  3. ^ "No. 27291". The London Gazette. 5 March 1901. p. 1576.

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