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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography


Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII (1841-1910)

c.1880 copy of an original of April 1860

Carbon print | 19.8 x 15.5 cm (image) | RCIN 2900277

Photograph of a full length portrait of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII (1841-1910), seated, facing three-quarters to the left. He gazes ahead, away from the camera. He poses with his legs crossed, his hands on his lap and he holds a hat in his left hand. A pot plant is visible in the foreground, on the right hand side.

This photograph was probably taken during the Easter vacation, while the Prince, aged eighteen, was down from Oxford. Lord Caithness, then a Lord-in-Waiting, had been known to the Royal Family for a number of years and was apparently on friendly terms with the Prince of Wales. Lord Caithness taught the Prince how to lathe and joined him in games of hockey and skating while he was in waiting at Windsor. He sometimes dined with the Royal Family. On 1 January 1860, the Queen noted that at dinner she had sat next to Lord Caithness, 'who has much to say for himself, as he knows so much.' He was keenly interested in scientific matters and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, so it is not surprising his skills included photography.
  • Creator(s)

    James Sinclair, 14th Earl of Caithness (1821-81) (photographer)

  • 19.8 x 15.5 cm (image)

    31.0 x 24.7 cm (page dimensions)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert