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Glass plate negatives

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


    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert commissioned a range of photographic portraits of their family, friends and royal household staff. Most of them were taken within the royal residences such as Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral Castle and Osborne House. The royal couple also commissioned portraits of notable individuals they knew or admired, including members of European royal families and actors. The negatives of these portraits were acquired by the royal couple collaboratively and stand as testament to their shared interest in documenting and representing the people that mattered to them.

    Glass plate of the Royal Family on the terrace at Osborne. From right to left: Prince Alfred, Prince Albert, Princess Helena, Princess Alice, Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria holding Princess Beatrice, Princess Royal, Princess Louise, Prince Leopold and Albe
    Family portraits

    Albert and Victoria employed photographers to document important family occasions and daily life

    Glass plate negative of a full length double portrait of the sisters, Victoria-Alice and Mary Symons. The young girls stand in front of a wall and face the camera front on. The younger girl holds a doll. They both wear patterned dresses, light colour stoc
    Royal Household portraits

    The negatives of the Royal Household reveal the royal family’s high regard for their staff

    Glass plate negative of a three-quarter length portrait of Sarah [Sally] Bonetta Forbes (1843-80) seated, facing the camera front on. She poses with her hands held together in her lap. She wears a small hair covering, dark colour dress with lace coll

    A selection of negatives depicting people the royal family knew or admired