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A Royal Christmas

The first official publication to explore the fascinating Christmas traditions of royalty past and present

JAMES ROBERTS (C. 1800-67)

Queen Victoria's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, 1850

dated 1850

Watercolour and bodycolour | 26.5 x 38.6 cm (whole object) | RCIN 919812

A watercolour of a decorated Christmas tree on a table surrounded with presents, including paintings and a bracelet designed by Prince Albert. Signed, dated and inscribed at lower right: Xmas. Windsor Castle/1850 – Js Roberts. A copy in oils by William Corden from 1851 is also part of the Royal Collection (RCIN 402566).

Queen Victoria describes Christmas Eve 1850 in her journal as follows: "My beloved Albert Ist took me to my tree & table, covered by such numberless gifts, really too much, too magnificent." Among the presents that so delighted the Queen, the following paintings can be identified: L'Allegro and Il Penseroso by John Callcot Horsley (RCIN 403667), Faith by Emma Richards (RCIN 403586) and The Coronation Scene from Le Prophète by Edward Henry Corbould (RCIN 451109). Prince Albert also gave Queen Victoria a bracelet of his own design, containing a miniature of Princess Louise, as well as four bronzes including Urania (RCIN 41491), Apollo Reposing (RCIN 41015), and Jason (RCIN 41012).

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.