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Photography and the Royal Family

Since its advent, photography has been important to the Royal Family

In 1929 Princess Elizabeth was photographed by her father, the future King George VI, standing in front of a group of Madonna lilies, lilium candidum. The photograph was taken at St Paul’s Walden Bury, the Hertfordshire home of the Princess's maternal g
Princess Elizabeth (b.1926) with lilies, 1929 ©
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert©

Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and Prince Albert (1819–61) were dedicated patrons of photography from 1842 onwards. Their varied interests encompassed collecting photography as an art form as well as recognising its value as historical record, including documenting their own art collection. Their enthusiasm for this new medium extended to the purchase of a darkroom, where the royal children were taught photography under the guidance of Librarian Ernst Becker.

Over the years, many members of the Royal Family have been prolific photographers, especially Queen Alexandra, whose albums provide a unique insight into the lives of the royal families of Europe from the 1880s to the First World War. The selection of photographs below provides an introduction to the central role of photography in the lives of the Royal Family.

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.