This exhibition follows the journey of 1862 taken by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), as he travelled on 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. He met rulers, politicians and other notable figures, and travelled in a manner unassociated 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.