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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography


Prince Albert (1819-1861)

5 Mar 1842

Daguerreotype | 8.7 x 6.3 cm (case) (image) | RCIN 2932488

Daguerreotype, showing a head-and-shoulders portrait of Prince Albert looking slightly to the left. The image has now faded considerably. The daguerreotype is mounted in a dark brown leather case with a red velvet interior. 'P. A. Feb 1842' is embossed on the lid in gold lettering and 'Beard Patented' is stamped beneath the daguerreotype.

This is the first known photograph to have survived of a member of the British royal family. Prince Albert visited William Constable's studio in Brighton, while the court was residing at the Royal Pavilion, and had a portrait taken. This daguerreotype was delivered to the Queen a few days later. In her journal entry of the 6th of March Queen Victoria commented 'Saw the photographs which are quite good'. Cased for its protection this daguerreotype was intended to be an intimate and portable object.
  • Creator(s)

    William Constable (1783-1861) (photographer)

  • 8.7 x 6.3 cm (case) (image)

  • Commissioned by Prince Albert in 1842