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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography


The Royal Family at Osborne

Mar 1857

Albumen print | 15.8 x 19.6 cm (image) | RCIN 2900099

Photograph of The Royal Family at Osborne. From left to right: Princess Helena, Princess Alice, Prince Arthur, Prince Alfred, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria holding Princess Beatrice, Princess Louise, Prince Leopold, Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales.

This is one of the few photographs which show Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with all their nine children. It was taken two days after the Queen's birthday. A month later, in June 1857, Prince Albert was given the official title of Prince Consort.

Following the birth of Princess Beatrice on 14 April 1857, Queen Victoria went to Osborne on the Isle of Wight to recuperate with her family. On 23 May Signor Caldesi, of Caldesi and Montecchi, was summoned from London to make a series of photographs of the royal children. Caldesi's account for these photographs reveals that in the following month the photographer was also called to Buckingham Palace several times to make a further series of photographs. Some of these were part of the flurry of photographic activity that preceded the wedding of the Princess Royal; others were intended as birthday presents for Prince Albert.

  • Creator(s)

    Leonida Caldesi (1823-91) (photographer)

  • The Queen. The Prince. The Princess Royal. Prince of Wales./ Princess Alice. Prince Alfred. Princess Helena./ Princess Louise. Prince Arthur. Prince Leopold./ Princess Beatrice./ Osborne. May. 1857.

  • 15.8 x 19.6 cm (image)

    31.0 x 24.7 cm (whole object)

  • Commissioned by Queen Victoria

  • Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • England
            • Isle of Wight [England]
              • Osborne Estate [Isle of Wight]
                • Osborne House
                  • Lower Terrace [Osborne House]
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Plastic arts
        • Sculpture