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Empress Friedrich, consort of Friedrich III, Emperor of Germany & King of Prussia, 1st daughter of Queen Victoria (1840-1901)

The Princess Royal's fan 1856

RCIN 25102

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This beautiful fan was decorated by the Princess Royal when she was fifteen, as a birthday present for her mother Queen Victoria. The occasion is recorded in Queen Victoria’s Journal, with the Queen describing the gift as ‘a lovely fan, which she had painted herself, emblematical of my name and those of all the Children’.

The fan is inscribed with the name VICTORIA in gold letters, and each letter is accompanied above by a bouquet of flowers beginning with one of the letters in the name (violets for V, and tulips for T, etc.). The swags which run between each letter are inscribed with the names and birthdates of each of Queen Victoria’s first eight children. The fan appeared in the centre of the watercolour record of the Queen’s birthday table in 1856, painted by James Roberts (see illustration below).