Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures

Anthony Blunt, or to give his former full title, Professor Sir Anthony Blunt KCVO, can be seen in the picture below discussing a painting with the Queen in 1959.

He had first been given the role of Surveyor of the King’s Pictures in 1945 by the Queen’s father, George VI. In 1956 the Queen knighted him for his services. His biographer wrote that “the royal family liked him: he was polite, effective and, above all, discreet.”

He had good reason to be discreet.

What they did not know until 1964 was that Anthony Blunt was a Soviet spy.

He had been recruited in the 1930’s along with a group of other Cambridge graduates.

In 1964 he confessed and was given immunity from prosecution with the expectation that his treachery would remain a secret. However, in 1979 as rumours spread, the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, named Anthony Blunt as a spy.