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A selection of sketches made in Scotland, 1864 – 76

Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle on 14 December 1861. From this time on Queen Victoria carefully inscribed each new sketch book with a commemorative phrase such as: ‘The 1st year of my misery’ or ‘The 2nd year of my Great Sorrow’ (examples of Queen Victoria’s inscriptions are reproduced below). These later sketch books chiefly contain landscape views. However, a small number of portraits of the Queen’s family continued to be added to her album of royal children (displayed in opposite case). The royal art tutor William Leighton Leitch was asked to return to Balmoral in 1863, and in a letter dated 30 September he wrote: ‘I am exceedingly glad to tell you that the Queen has begun to draw again… To-day I went out with her Majesty and the Princess Louise (actually Princess Louis, ie. the Queen’s second daughter, Alice) of Hesse, and we had a drawing party out of doors. The day was fine although there was no sun. We got on very well, and the Queen was cheerful and enjoyed the work – chatting, and occasionally laughing at the little difficulties and draw-backs...’.