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Case study

Princess Charlotte's Russian Dress

Conservators work on the dress and the portrait of Princess Charlotte in which she is wearing it

For a brief period in the early 19th century, Russian style was à la mode. This was the result of dynastic marriages and royal visits, as well as the Napoleonic Wars, which brought Russia into the centre of international politics through a web of allegiances.

This film looks at the so-called 'Russian' dress that belonged to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the future George IV and Queen Caroline, and a portrait of her wearing the dress. The portrait was one of the last of her taken from life, before her untimely death during childbirth at the age of just 21. 

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Learn more about the works featured in this film:

RCIN 74709

Dress, full length, sleeveless; blue silk trimmed round bodice and down centre skirt with scalloped gold lace with red highlights; skirt edged with gold fringe: separate front opening bodice, drawstring high-waisted flared/gathered skirt

RCIN 402491

Princess Charlotte is seated elegantly on a chaise longue, dressed in her blue silk Russian-style dress, beneath which is a plain white undergarment. At her left breast she wears the star of the Order of St Catherine, which she received on 1 July 1817, from Maria Feodorovna, wife of Paul I, in gratitude for hospitality shown to her son Nicholas during...