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The Art of Monarchy

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

Carl Haag (1820-1915)

Morning in the Highlands: The Royal Family ascending Lochnagar dated 1853

RCIN 451257

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The Bavarian artist Carl Haag was invited to stay at Balmoral by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1853. The artist spent a month and a half working on the estate, carrying out a number of commissions for the royal couple and recording their life in Scotland. The watercolour Morning in the Highlands, and its pair Evening at Balmoral Castle, were to be the largest and most significant of the works he painted there. Morning in the Highlands was begun after Haag had accompanied a royal expedition to the summit of Lochnagar and received detailed instructions from Prince Albert on the design. The work was to be a Christmas present from the Prince to the Queen in December 1853.

Haag’s watercolour shows the royal party climbing Lochnagar, the highest mountain on the Balmoral Estate. Prince Albert is shown on horseback leading Princess Alice, Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria, the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales and Miss Bulteel, accompanied by a number of gillies. The watercolour was based on a series of preparatory studies and photographs, and finished in Haag’s London studio, where the Queen sat for further studies. The finished work and its companion were hung by the Queen and Prince at Osborne, their home on the Isle of Wight, as a reminder of their Scottish retreat. Early in the twentieth century they were transferred to Balmoral Castle, where they continue to hang.