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William Simpson (1823-99)

Queen Victoria reviewing the Royal Artillery at Woolwich on their return from the Crimea, 13 March 1856 dated Mar 1856

Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil | 29.2 x 45.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 916787

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Following the defeat of Russia at the siege of Sevastopol, peace was declared in March 1856, and British soldiers soon began to return home. The Royal Artillery disembarked at Woolwich to be inspected by the queen. Victoria’s first impressions on encountering the returning soldiers were recorded in her journal: ‘I cannot describe the emotion Albert & I felt … The whole sight gave one a real idea of what the life and appearance of the men, on service out there, must have been’.