The royal collection fails the vigil test as 2,500 paintings and photos are reviewed in case they violate modern attitudes
- Text has been updated on dozens of exhibits to reflect modern attitudes
- The portrait of the Waterloo hero Sir Thomas Picton now cites his connections to the slave trade
- The Royal Collection Trust has not said how many items still require text editing
More than 2,500 paintings, images and photographs in the Royal Collection have been screened over the past year to ensure they do not violate modern attitudes about “race, slavery, empire and disability”.
A portrait of Sir Thomas Picton, a hero of Waterloo, is now accompanied by text citing his links to the slave trade.
The phrase “epilepsy boy” on a sketch by the 17th-century Italian painter Domenichino has been changed to “boy with epilepsy”.
A Royal Collection piece, the Wattle Portrait was part of the Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Coronation exhibition at Windsor Castle
The Royal Collection held an exhibition in Edinburgh entitled Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust. The exhibition honors the stories of seven notable Holocaust survivors through a series of portraits commissioned by the Prince of Wales
Some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomical studies in A Life in Drawing have also been exhibited by the Royal Collection in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace
Experts have also “updated” 1,500 British Empire-themed photographs from a 1921 tour of India by Edward, Prince of Wales to cause offense.
And they continue to investigate the collection, held in trust by the Queen, on behalf of the nation to see if there are any other transgressions.
They also examine the identification of individuals in photographs, including men in Singapore from 1901 and Tibetan guests at the Calcutta Turf Club in 1905.
The Royal Collection Trust, the charity that manages the collection, has not disclosed how many individual items have had to be updated.
However, a spokesman said: “Publicly available object records are constantly reviewed to improve the information presented on an object and/or subject.”