Queen’s defiant gesture as she refuses to send swords to Russian museum

The Queen has made a defiant gesture against Russia in a bid to show her support to the people of Ukraine amid the war crisis.

The 95 year old monarch, who is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, officially gave her blessing to the Royal Collection to postpone the loan of three 17th Century weapons to the Kremlin Museums in Moscow.

The royal's gesture was a brave and powerful move as she joined the cultural boycott of the country led by Vladimir Putin.

The Royal Collection had initially agreed to loan the swords to the Kremlin museums for an exhibition about duelling, according to The Guardian.

Permission was then withdrawn in mid-February, and came following other European institutions' decisions to ban their artefacts from the displays.

The exhibition is called The Duel: from Trial by Combat to a Noble Crime.

Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov was one of the sponsors, and has since been sanctioned following Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

Since the collective move to withdraw weapons and other historical items from the exhibition, its scheduled opening of March 4 was postponed.

There is not yet a new date set, but the museums' spokesperson said that the displays were planned to mostly consist of European exhibits.

As a result, the project could be on-hold indefinitely, at least as long as the war continues.

“The core of the project consists of exhibits from European museums, which we were forced to withdraw them before the time due to the geopolitical situation," Kremlin Museums stated.

A spokesman for the Queen’s collection told The Guardian: “A decision to postpone a loan of three swords from the Royal Collection to the Kremlin Museums in Moscow was made in mid-February.”

One of the swords is believed to have belonged to King Charles I.

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As well as the weapons, there were also items such as cavalry helmets being withheld.

The Royal Collection is also refusing to loan a 17th Century duelling gauntlet at this stage.

It comes as a new "oligarch task force" has reportedly been created, which will see ministers from four government departments working with the National Crime Agency to attempt to instil further sanctions and increase political pressure on Russian president Putin.

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