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Photographic portrait of Princess Louise, looking to the right of camera

The captivating life and art of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s daughter

Ottawa c.1879

Pen and ink over pencil, watercolour and bodycolour | 12.6 x 8.6 cm | RCIN 981658.q

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Louise’s husband, John Campbell was appointed Governor General of Canada, a role in which the person becomes the Monarch’s representative in another country. Louise became his Viceregal Consort, assisting her husband with ceremonial work, charitable causes and accompanying him on any state visits.

On 15 November 1878 the couple left for Canada by boat, arriving 10 days later. It has been suggested that Louise’s time abroad was initially unhappy due to prolonged homesickness and the unexpected death of her older sister Alice on 14 December 1878.

This watercolour is attributed to the princess’s good friend Hilda Montalba. Hilda was one of four artistic sisters who exhibited their works regularly at leading galleries, including the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery. Hilda and Clara Montalba visited Louise in Canada in 1879, when this snowy scene was probably painted.