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Occasions and Events

Photography has always been a reasonably quick and effective way to capture and record a moment in time. This applies, in particular, to significant and historical events but, on a more personal level, the same applies to special and important moments we all experience, like a wedding or the arrival of a new member into the family.
 
Queen Victoria’s family was no exception to this and the photograph collection is extremely rich in examples of important private occasions involving all the various members of her large extended family. In addition, though, the Queen had the responsibility of dealing with and responding to serious matters of state, such as wars and other collective human tragedies.
 
Photography was a powerful and immediate means through which the Monarch could keep herself informed about conflict and the status of her soldiers, for whom she felt the most profound sympathy, particularly during the tragic events of the Crimean War (1853-6) or the 2nd Afghan War (1878-80).
 
Photography was also used to document events much closer to home, like the Great Chartist meeting on Kennington Common (10 April 1848) and other national events on which the press focused its attention. One of these was the Hartley pit disaster, a major mining accident in Northumberland which, in the space of several days, claimed the lives of over 200 men and boys in January 1862.
 
Travel was a much happier and more pleasant pursuit which the entire Royal Family was able to share through photography. Francis Bedford was the author of the images taken to document the Prince of Wales’s educational journey to Palestine and the Near East in the spring of 1862. The Prince, by his own wish, also made a tour of India from 8 November 1875 until 13 March 1876, collecting a great quantity of photographs.

Prince Alfred, the Queen’s second son, who had learnt the rudiments of photography during the 1850s, used this medium to share with his parents what he saw during the visit he paid to South Africa in 1860, while serving as a midshipman on board H.M.S. Euryalus. His interest in photography continued; in 1865 he wrote to his mother from Kranichstein in Germany, sending her ‘the 143 photographs of my doing which you wanted to have. I am sure you had no idea they were so many.’

Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)

HMS 'Hannibal' fitting for the Black Sea fleet

Roger Fenton (1819-69)

Omar Pasha (1806-71)

Roger Fenton (1819-69)

Cossack Bay Balaklava

Joseph Cundall (1818-1895) & Robert Howlett (1831-1858)

Sergeant Major Edwards

Joseph Cundall (1818-1895) & Robert Howlett (1831-1858)

Three Soldiers of the Coldstream Guards

James Robertson (1813-88)

Tower of the Malakoff

James Robertson (1813-88)

Breach in the Redan

Ivan Ermolaevitch Grigoriev (active 1900)

Part of the English Cemetery near Sevastopol

Gustave Le Gray (1820-84)

The English Fleet at Cherbourg

Chief Petty Officer TM MacGregor (active 1898)

Issuing Rum

Chief Petty Officer TM MacGregor (active 1898)

Captain's Fore Cabin

Chief Petty Officer TM MacGregor (active 1898)

Midshipmen at Physical Drill

Chief Petty Officer TM MacGregor (active 1898)

Pay Day!

Roger Fenton (1819-69)

The Queen's Target, Wimbledon

57 & 61 Ebury Street, London : W & D Downey

Hartley Colliery after the Accident, 30 January 1862

57 & 61 Ebury Street, London : W & D Downey

Hartley Colliery after the accident

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Arrival of the Prince of Wales at Bombay, India

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

One of the Welcome Arches erected in Kandy for HRH the Prince of Wales, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Royal Yacht 'Osborne' in Hooghly River, Calcutta, India

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Pathan Chiefs

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Baluchi Chiefs

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Yarkund Shooting Pony

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Two small elephants presented to HRH the Prince of Wales in India

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

HRH's Charger, Coomassie

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Man guarding a food supply waggon while encamped by a river in South Africa

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Photograph of a watercolour

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Some men of Prince Alfred's party while encamped by a river in South Africa

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Gathering of tribes, South Africa

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Members of the Royal party resting by the 'White Train' while camping by a river in South Africa

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, 2nd son of Queen Victoria (1844-1900)

Gathering of tribes, South Africa

Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1844-1925)

Queen Alexandra's Christmas Gift Book