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The Main Wing, Pavilion and Terrace, Osborne House.

Osborne was an important setting for early royal photography

Dr Ernst Becker (1826–88)

The Queen, the Prince, Duchess of Kent and Royal Children at Osborne 24 May 1854

RCIN 2800668

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Correspondence between Becker and his mother illustrate the prolific nature of his work connecting with commercial photographers, dealers and print sellers on Prince Albert’s behalf. His letters also refer to his own practical experiments and advancements in photography, referring to the results he hopes to achieve during summers at Osborne House, and making use of a chemistry laboratory he established there. For example, in a letter written from Osborne House on 18 March 1855, Becker writes:

Not only that the magnificent collections of the Queen and the Prince grow daily, they also have constantly used photography for the most diverse purposes, wherever they wish to have a true depiction of nature, be it the progress of the new house in Balmoral, the wounded soldiers from the Crimea or a Raphaelesque picture in Rome.

E. Becker, Briefe aus einem Leben im Dienste von Queen Victoria und ihrer Familie, herausgegeben von Lotte Hoffmann-Kuhnt (2015)