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Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

The Queen's Christmas Tree, Windsor Castle 24 Dec 1857

RCIN 2906247

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Photograph showing a decorated Christmas tree on top of a table surrounded by various gifts that include photographs and ornaments. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert did much to popularise the German custom of decorating fir trees at Christmas time, which had originally been introduced into England by Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. The Royal Family generally spent Christmas at Windsor Castle, where they had several Christmas tables with trees for each other and for members of the Royal Household. Presents were distributed on Christmas Eve. This picture, taken by Dr Becker, Prince Albert's German librarian and a keen photographer, shows that among the many gifts presented to the Queen in 1857 were some photographs of actors, taken by Martin Laroche. The process is identified on the album page, 'dry collodion plate'.