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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

Martin Laroche (1814-86)

Mrs Charles Kean and Mr Meadows as the Queen and gardner 1857

Hand coloured photograph | 22.5 x 18.7 cm (image) | RCIN 2909981

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Hand coloured photograph of actors Mrs Charles Kean (previously Ellen Tree) and Drinkwater Meadows as the Queen and the gardner in a recreation of Act 4 scene 1 of 'King Richard II', as performed in 1857 at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street, London. Kean wears an ivory and coral dress with veil. Meadows wears a brown and green outfit with a hood. He kneels down and holds a hat in his right hand and a hoe in his left hand. Two women actors playing Ladies-in-Waiting, stand in the background on the left hand side.

In February 1857, Richard II was performed by Kean's company in St George's Hall. Kean then opened the production of Shakespeare's play in March 1857 at the Princess's Theatre in Oxford Street. Queen Victoria and her family visited the theatre to watch the production five times where it made a lasting impression on Princess Victoria, the Queen's eldest daughter. This photograph and other hand coloured photographs of the cast of the play were purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1857 as a Christmas present.   
  • Creator(s)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (photographer)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (colourist)

    Ellen Kean (1805-80)
    Meadows, Drinkwater (1799-1869)
  • 22.5 x 18.7 cm (image)

  • Given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert as a Christmas gift

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Toys and Decorations
          • Theatrical costumes