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Albums compiled by Prince Albert, reflecting his beliefs surrounding photography

Attributed to Jabez Hughes (1819-84)

Captain Speedy and Prince 1883 copy after an original of 17 July 1868

Carbon carte-de-visite print | 8.9 x 5.9 cm (image) | RCIN 2800864

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Photograph of Prince Alamayu of Abyssinia (also known as 'Alemayehu', 'Alemayou', 'Alemayu' and 'Alamaiou') (1861-79) standing on the left of Captain Tristram Speedy (1836-1911). Both wear Abyssinian dress, with an Abyssinian shield leaning against the legs of Speedy.

Prince Alamayu was the son of Tewodros II, Emperor of Abyssinia (1818–68). He was brought to England by Speedy following the Battle of Magdala in April 1868. He lived with Speedy on the Isle of Wight and was presented to Queen Victoria at Osborne House. Speedy and Prince Alamayu were also photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron, who lived at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, in July 1868, the same month that this portrait was taken by Jabez Hughes. The Queen took a great interest in the child and mentioned him often in her diaries. The multiple format prints of Prince Alamayu in the Royal Collection, including large format albumen photographs, cabinet cards and carte de visite, also indicate the great public interest in the orphaned prince.

When Prince Alamayu died of pleurisy at aged 18, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal : 'Very grieved & shocked to hear by telegram, that good Alemayou [sic] passed away this morning. It is too sad! All alone, in a strange country, without a single person or relative, belonging to him, so young, & so good, but for him one cannot repine. His, was no happy life, full of difficulties of every kind, & he was so sensitive, thinking people stared at him on account of his colour, that I fear he would never have been happy. Everyone is sorry.' RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 14 November 1879   

  • Creator(s)

    Attributed to Jabez Hughes (1819-84) (photographer)

    Alamayu, Prince of Abyssinia (1861-1879)
    Tristram Charles Sawyer 'Captain' Speedy (1836-1911)
  • 8.9 x 5.9 cm (image)

  • Captain Speedy and Prince Alamayou, son of King Theodore

  • From an album containing works collected and arranged by Prince Albert (before 1861) and by Queen Victoria

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
          • cartes-de-visite