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Detail from a map of India and the Middle East, showing the route of the Prince of Wales' tour

Albert Edward's tour aimed to strengthen ties between the two countries

Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

The saloon of HMS Serapis 1875-6

Albumen print | 10.0 x 13.7 cm | RCIN 2114102

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HMS Serapis was originally designed to transport troops to and from India. It had ample internal space for the troops as well as storage space for military equipment and regimental animals. This former use, as well as the space available, meant that it was considered to be the most suitable ship for the Prince's tour. At various stops, the ship was used to host formal gatherings such as dinners and receptions. The saloon was furnished with heavy bronze-yellow curtains decorated with Indian-inspired patterns that could be drawn to divide the saloon into a reception room, a dining room and a drawing room.