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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography


The First Council of Queen Victoria

c. 1855

Albumen print | RCIN 2905577

Photograph of a painting depicting Queen Victoria's first Council at Kensington Palace on 20 June 1937.

Queen Victoria held her first council in the Red Saloon at Kensington Palace at eleven on 20 June 1837; William IV had died in the early hours of that morning, so this was not in Princess Victoria's diary when she retired on the previous evening. She was eighteen years old at the time but behaved, according to Greville's account, with 'perfect calmness and self-possession'. The members of the Accession Council are identified in the key published with Charles Fox's engraving after the picture. The most prominent are: Charles Greville (1794-1865) the author of the famous account of the episode at the extreme left; Lord Melbourne, holding the paper centrally; Ernest Duke of Cumberland and (for the last few hours) King of Hanover, seated just to the left of the right-hand column; The Duke of Wellington, standing in front of this same column; Augustus, Duke of Sussex, seated on the near side of the table.

This painting is in the Royal Collection, RCIN 404710.
  • Creator(s)

    After Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) (artist)

    Unknown (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Home economics
        • Furniture & accessories
          • Tables
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • England
            • Greater London [England]
              • London [Greater London]
                • City of Westminster
                  • Kensington Gardens
                    • Kensington Palace
                      • Privy Chamber [Kensington Palace]