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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Prince Albert (1819-1861)


Creator: William Constable (1783-1861) (photographer)
Creation Date: 
5 Mar 1842
Materials and techniques: 
8.7 x 6.3 cm (case)
C&C 17
Acquirer: Prince Albert, Prince Consort, consort of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1819-61)
Commissioned by Prince Albert in 1842

Daguerreotype which was created as a half length portrait of Prince Albert looking slightly to the left. The image has now faded to the extent that only a mirrored surface can be seen. The daguerreotype is mounted in a dark brown leather case with a red velvet interior. 'P. A. Feb 1842' is embossed on the lid in gold lettering and 'Beard Patented' is stamped beneath the daguerreotype.

This is the first photograph ever to be taken of a member of the British royal family. Prince Albert visited William Constable's studio in Brighton, while the court was residing at the Royal Pavilion, and had a portrait taken. This daguerreotype was delivered to the Queen a few days later. In her journal entry of the 6th of March Queen Victoria commented 'Saw the photographs which are quite good'. Cased for its protection this daguerreotype was intended to be an intimate and portable object.

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