Queen Victoria – Winterhalter – 1843

Prince Albert’s ‘favourite picture’ of Queen Victoria, 1843 by Winterhalter. In her diary, Victoria wrote about this ‘secret picture’ she was having painted for Albert’s 24th birthday as a surprise. On the big day, she recorded that-

‘he thought it so like, & so beautifully painted. I felt so happy & proud to have found something that gave him so much pleasure’

The painting was then hung in Prince Albert’s Writing Room at Windsor Castle, deep within their private apartments. Today the painting resides at Kensington Palace, where Victoria was born, grew up and meet Albert.

One thing I would like to note about this painting is that although the central focus here is Victoria and she is dressed very simply, she is wearing a heart-shaped pendant. This is likely her glass, heart-shaped locket that contained a lock of Albert’s hair, which she was supposed to have worn ‘day and night’ before her marriage to Albert. It’s nice to see this little homage in a painting for his eye’s only.

Royal Collection


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