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Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

The Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred with their companions Jun 1854

RCIN 2800675

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In 1851, Dr Ernst Becker began his employment with the royal household as librarian and private secretary to Prince Albert and tutor to the royal children. The following year, Becker began to educate himself in photography, likely on the request of Prince Albert. Becker subsequently taught the Prince and other members of the royal family 'the dark art' of photography, leading to the establishment of dark rooms at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

Becker was also an accomplished photographer. From 1852 to 1858 he produced a range of photographs documenting life in the royal household, including hunting trips, family gatherings at Osborne and Balmoral and visits from royal family members and important guests. This photograph depicts Prince Edward of Wales and Prince Arthur with a group of male friends.