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Francis Bedford (1815-94)

Duke August of Saxe-Gotha's State Coach, Gotha 1858

RCIN 2102949

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Knowing of Prince Albert's love for his old home, Queen Victoria commissioned a set of photographs of Gotha to be given to Prince Albert as a birthday present on 26 August 1858. They were to accompany the set of Coburg photographs she had given him for his birthday the year before. According to the Queen's journal, Prince Albert was 'particularly delighted' with them. Between 1790 and 1810, there was a fashion, possibly of French origin, for circular-shaped carriages. This particular example was apparently built, by order of Duke August, Prince Albert's maternal grandfather, for the public entry into Gotha in 1808 of Napoleon I, who refused to use it.