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Prince Albert's Personal Papers

Papers relating to Prince Albert’s personal life and enthusiasms

Collecting Photographs

In addition to his collection of photographs, Prince Albert’s (1819-61) engagement with photography is demonstrated by this collection of selected material held in the Royal Archives.

Privy Purse bills and receipts illustrate Prince Albert and Queen Victoria’s (1819-61) commissioning of photographers and purchases from commercial photographic enterprises, as well as money spent on buying photographic equipment and installing dark rooms at royal residences. This spending is further documented in the 1853-1860 Privy Purse ledger that notably lists purchases of photographs under ‘Fine Arts’.

The royal couple’s passion for photography clearly transferred to their children. The Prince of Wales’ (1841-1910) diary entries and Prince Alfred’s (1844-1900) Privy Purse receipts indicate their practical interest, whereas Prince Albert’s translated and transcribed correspondence with his daughter Princess Victoria of Prussia (1840-1901), reveals their regular sharing of photographs and views on art and photography.