Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Friday, 7 November 2014 to Sunday, 22 February 2015

This exhibition follows the journey taken by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1862, as he undertook a four month tour around the Middle East.

Seen through the photographs of Francis Bedford (1815-94), the first photographer to travel on a royal tour, it explores the cultural and political significance Victorian Britain attached to the region, which was then as complex and contested as it remains today.

The tour took the Prince to Egypt, Palestine and the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece where he met rulers, politicians and other notable figures, and travelled in a manner not associated with royalty – by horse and camping out in tents.

On the royal party’s return to England, Francis Bedford’s work was displayed in what was described as ‘the most important photographic exhibition that has hitherto been placed before the public’.

Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East is presented alongside Gold at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Opening times

Open daily, 10:00-17:30

Admission prices

Adult £9.75
Concessions £8.95
Under 17/Disabled £4.95
Under 5 Free

For more details please see our Visit pages

What's on

View our full events guide

Next events and group visits

Exhibition special event - Precursors to the Prince: the Grand Tour in the Ottoman Empire

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Join Dr Philip Mansel, historian and author of Constantinople and Levant, for an evening lecture which will look into the aims and motivations of many prominent literary and political figures in travelling to these regions. ... Read more about Exhibition special event - Precursors to the Prince: the Grand Tour in the Ottoman Empire

Detail of a painting from a triptych depecting the Coronation, Nativity and Crucifixion

Access Event - Verbal Description Session

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Working with the RNIB's Music Advisory Service, this event - Secular and Sacred: Art and Music in late fourteenth-century Italy - is designed to give blind and partially-sighted visitors an insight into The Queen's Gallery, the Royal Collection, and ... Read more about Access Event - Verbal Description Session

Exhibition Articles

Conservation of an ancient Egyptian funerary stela

'I was looking at some excavations, which were going on behind the Memnonium; the Viceroy had been kind enough to give permission for them, and that everything that was found I might have; only a small mummy and a tablet were however found, which ... Read more about Conservation of an ancient Egyptian funerary stela

Buy the catalogue

In 1862 the leading British photographer Francis Bedford was commissioned by Queen Victoria to accompany her son and heir, the future King Edward VII, on an ambitious journey around the Middle East. ... Read more about Buy the catalogue

School Sessions

Away with words: A Creative Writing workshop - Travel Writing

Age group: 
Key stage 2, Key stage 3, Key stage 4, Key stage 5
School subjects: 
Literacy, English Language
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

This workshop highlights the many possibilities for inspiring Creative Writing about the subject of Travel from works of art, in comparison to more familiar sources such as books and the internet. Focussing on the paintings, sculptures, photographs ... Read more about Away with words: A Creative Writing workshop - Travel Writing

Portrait of Abd al-Qadir, April 1862

To paint or to 'click'? Learning to look at portraits in photography and paintings

Age group: 
Key stage 2, Key stage 3, Key stage 4, Key stage 5
School subjects: 
Art & Design, History, History and Art
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

This session enables pupils studying Art & Design and History to examine some of the techniques and skills used to look at an historical image and analyse the clues and narratives portrayed. Focussing on  examples of portraits from two ... Read more about To paint or to 'click'? Learning to look at portraits in photography and paintings