Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
The Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, 28 June 1897
An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in the midst of dense crowds.
According to the artist’s diary, Tuxen was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1897 to paint a picture of the Jubilee Garden Party at which would be present the elite members of London society together with other individuals from the British Empire who had connections with the court of St James’s. The Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) showed a particular interest in progress on the picture and visited Tuxen in Copenhagen and at Windsor to discuss the composition.
The artist was given permission to work in the Garden Entrance at St James’s Palace and was authorised to apply for sitting to anyone who had been present at the Garden Party ‘in accordance with The Queen’s wishes it may be a faithful Representation of that interesting Occasion’. An account of the Garden Party, with a list of those present, was printed in The Times on 29th June 1897. The Queen and members of the Royal Family entered the garden at a quarter past five. In the painting Queen Victoria appears to be returning to the Palace at the end of the party. In the background is the lake and on the right the royal tent. The Queen is accompanied in her carriage by the Princess of Wales who had changed placed with the Empress Frederick during the afternoon. A set of fifteen studies by Tuxen, of sitters who were to be incorporated into the composition is in a private collection in Denmark.