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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

Caldesi & Montecchi (active 1857-1867)

The Royal Family on terrace at Osborne 26 May 1857

RCIN 2900098

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In the mid-nineteenth century a quicker and more accurate medium for capturing a likeness began to eclipse the art of the portrait miniature – photography. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were early enthusiasts of this new technology, patronising a range of British photographers and laying the foundation for a collection that now encompasses over 450,000 photographs by both leading practitioners and members of royalty.

This photograph shows the Royal Family shortly after the birth of Princess Beatrice, whom Queen Victoria holds in her arms, and is one of the few images of the Queen and Prince Consort with all their nine children.