The Household Cavalry is made up of the two most senior regiments in the British Army: The Life Guards and Blues and Royals. It is divided into the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Since 1660, the soldiers of the Household Cavalry have acted as the monarch’s trusted guardians, as well as being the public face of the British Army both at home and abroad. Renowned for their disciplined horseback skills and prestigious role in state occasions they symbolize tradition, pageantry, and the enduring connection between the British monarchy and its people, preserving cultural heritage.

The project required restoration of six important and historical paintings each related to the Household Cavalry, including portraits of Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, Colonel, Royal Horse Guards, by Ethel Mortlock, one of very few women painting the military genre, and Marshal Viscount Combermere, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Various logistical reasons, including frame condition and actual size of some of the paintings meant that we not only had to carry out certain work in-situ at the London Barracks as well as our studio in Eton, but also around the clients’ busy work schedule.

The work itself:

Having assessed the scope of the work on-site with the client, a dedicated project team compiling of Leona Holmes, Marcela Ivanovicova and Sandra Rodriguez was formed. Work entailed minor consolidation, tear repair, surface cleaning of both, frame and paintings, improving old retouching and actual frames repair, all of which are familiar issues with 200-year-old paintings in original frames.

During treatment - Detail of painting Aubrey de Vere, Last Earl of Oxford
After treatment - Detail of painting Aubrey de Vere, Last Earl of Oxford.
Mounted Dutyman of the Blues
An example of one of the very large paintings we restored onsite at the Household Cavalry London Barracks

We would like to thank all the Household Cavalry team involved for the kindness, support, and generosity afforded to us throughout. It was a fabulously rewarding project that will live long in the memory, in particular being shown the actual horses and watching part of their training regime. It meant a great deal and we appreciated it deeply.