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Detail from Hayter's painting of Victoria and Albert's marriage, showing the pair holding hands at the alter with onlookers in the background

The arts were a great shared passion of Victoria and Albert

Mary Thornycroft (1809-1895)

Leg and foot of Prince Alfred signed & dated 1845

RCIN 42012

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A significant proportion of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's art patronage and collecting revolved around their children. Many of the milestones, activities and endeavours in the lives of the Princes and Princesses were captured and celebrated in painting, watercolour, photography, sculpture and jewellery.

This is one of a group of such sculptures commissioned by Queen Victoria as a souvenir of her children’s development, based on a plaster cast that was likely taken of the infant Prince Alfred's limb whilst he slept. A group of 14 marble hands and feet of her children was kept in the Queen's private apartments at Buckingham Palace, a permanent memento of the enduring importance of family.