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The Crimean War (1853–6)

In 1854, Britain and France joined the Ottoman Empire in a war against Russia, following disputes over territorial control and religious freedoms. Like the rest of the country, Victoria and Albert followed the Crimean War closely from its inception and engaged practically with the war effort, encouraging their older children and household to follow suit. The royal couple sent supplies including food, soap, blankets and reading material to the Crimea, pressed the government to provide adequate care and facilities for wounded soldiers returning from the front, and made unprecedented visits to military hospitals in Britain. In the midst of the conflict, the queen wrote to her uncle: ‘My whole soul and heart are in the Crimea’.       

 

Victoria and Albert’s concern for the welfare of British soldiers is reflected by the inclusion of almost 40 watercolours relating to the war and its aftermath in their albums.