British photographic history

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Rarely seen documents chronicling the life and reign of Queen Victoria have been made public on a new website marking this year's Diamond Jubilee. The Royal Family released its archive of letters, journals, painting and photographs for the launch.

The website has nine sections tracing the life of Victoria as a princess to her own Jubilee celebrations in 1897. The site also gives details of the young Princess Victoria's studies and timetable of lessons. Many documents have been available to academics but not the public. Britain's longest reigning monarch had nine children with Prince Albert but never recovered from his death in 1861 from typhoid and wore black in mourning for the rest of her life.

Her withdrawal from public life made her unpopular, but during the late 1870s and 1880s she gradually returned to public view.

The website is divided into nine sections: The Young Princess; Becoming Queen; Love and Marriage; Family life; Home and Empire; Victorian Invention and Improvement; Queen Victoria's Household; Diamond Jubilee Day, and Jubilee Celebrations.

Of particular note to BPH readers are the number of original photographs shown and two sections: Photography equipment purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert... and Daguerreotype of Queen Victoria and the Princess Royal, c.1845 which explore Victoria and Albert's involvement in photography.

The website can be found here:

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Comment by Robert Alexander Albright on April 22, 2012 at 19:24

I see that Roger Fenton, the Secretary of the Photographic Society, took an intimate portrait of the Queen and Prince Albert in 1854. Hopefully his modern day counterpart will be invited to create an equivalent picture in 2014.

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