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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. 


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...