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The Art of Monarchy

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

Eduard Uhlenhuth (c.1853-1919)

Royal family group photograph at Coburg following the wedding of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse, April 1894 21 - 21 Apr 1894

RCIN 2105962

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This photograph was acquired by Queen Victoria for her series of albums titled ‘Portraits of Royal Children’. It shows her surrounded by descendants from across Europe, assembled for the wedding of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (the daughter of Queen Victoria’s son, Alfred) and the Grand Duke of Hesse (the son of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Alice). Sitting with the Queen is her eldest daughter Victoria, now Dowager German Empress, with her eldest son, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia are also in the group. The photograph represents Queen Victoria’s position as the ‘grandmother’ of Europe, at the moment before family alliances began to collapse and Europe eventually erupted in war in 1914.