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Caldesi & Montecchi (active 1857-67)

The Royal Family on terrace at Osborne 26 May 1857

RCIN 2900098

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Following the birth of Princess Beatrice on 14 April 1857, Queen Victoria went to Osborne on the Isle of Wight to recuperate with her family. On 23 May Signor Caldesi, of Caldesi and Montecchi, was summoned from London to make a series of photographs of the royal children. Caldesi's account for these photographs reveals that in the following month the photographer was also called to Buckingham Palace several times to make a further series of photographs. Some of these were part of the flurry of photographic activity that preceded the wedding of the Princess Royal; others were intended as birthday presents for Prince Albert. This is one of the few photographs which show Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with all their nine children. It was taken two days after the Queen's birthday. A month later, in June 1857, Prince Albert was given the official title of Prince Consort.