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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Unknown Person

Glass negative of a daguerreotype of Queen Victoria and the Princess Royal c. 1878 glass plate negative of a daguerreotype from c. 1845

RCIN 2506821

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This is the earliest surviving image of Queen Victoria. The photographer is unknown and the original daguerreotype has not survived, but we have the copy made for Queen Victoria around thirty years later. The image shows the Queen embracing her eldest daughter, the Princess Royal. In the photograph both appear to be quite ordinary middle-class individuals. There is nothing that hints at their status.