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Queen Alexandra

Although the future Queen Alexandra began to draw and paint in her native Denmark, her artistic education accelerated following her marriage to Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1863. After her move to Britain, the Princess of Wales received lessons in drawing and watercolour from Queen Victoria’s tutor William Leighton Leitch. These often took place on the Balmoral Estate, which was also the location for the Princess’s portrait of Queen Victoria. The monarch is shown from behind, wearing a grey tweed suit and matching hat, and looking out onto the Highland landscape. The drawing is inscribed: ‘The missing leaf of Life in the Highlands’, referring to the Queen’s Leaves from the Journal of our life in the Highlands, first issued in 1865. In 1886 the Princess of Wales received lessons from Sir Oswald Walters Brierly (1817 – 94), who had been appointed Marine Painter to the Queen in 1874. Brierly’s influence is particularly evident in a number of seascapes, such as the depiction of the coast of Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 1888. As well as drawing and painting, Queen Alexandra was a proficient photographer, and many examples of her photographs can be found in the Royal Collection.