For centuries tapestries were used as a decorative status symbol at royal courts. They were emblematic of the power and grandeur of the royal house and offered a luxury that few could afford.
Tapestries were a sumptuous demonstration of status and their exorbitant price reflected the skill and materials needed, such as gilt and silk, to make such works of art.
Easily transportable they would be rolled up and taken on procession with the monarch.
Rather than commission new tapestries, William III used Tudor tapestries to decorate the State Bedchamber highlighting the magnificence of those already in the royal estate.
I was told during my visit to Hampton Court Palace that Henry VIII had more than 2,000 in his possession and around fifty have survived. All are owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Images author’s own
Hampton Court Palace