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Glass plate negatives

Albert and Victoria’s collection of glass plate negatives show photographers’ working methods

Royal residences

From the mid-1850s onwards, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert systematically used photography to record every aspect of their lives together. This included documenting various royal residences in Windsor, London, Scotland and the Isle of Wight. The resulting negatives form a unique architectural record and demonstrate the queen and the prince’s taste in interior styles of decoration. The interior views also depict the works of art the royal couple surrounded themselves with and the ways these were arranged in the private and state apartments of royal residences. Slightly more personal in nature is a group of negatives depicting tables in Windsor Castle and Osborne House adorned with family gifts for various birthdays and other celebrations.

Alongside the main palaces and castles, photographers were often commissioned to document the surrounding grounds, including various cottages, pavilions and other buildings, such as the Royal Dairy and the Royal Mews in Windsor.

Photographs printed from these negatives appear both in albums organised by residence and albums of varied subjects.