The French King, Louis-Philippe, landed at Portsmouth on 8 October 1844 for a Royal visit that was intended to strengthen his alliance with Queen Victoria, which had begun the previous year with her visit to the château d'Eu in Picardy. Louis-Philippe's reciprocal visit was the first to England by a French monarch since 1356. His arrival in Portsmouth in his paddle steamer, the ‘Gomer’, was one of several carefully staged pieces of pageantry. To welcome Louis-Philippe, the Queen’s guns were repeatedly fired causing smoke to build up on the anchorage.
French painter and lithographer Édouard Pingret wrote and illustrated ‘Voyage de S. M. Louis-Philippe 1er Roi des Francais au Chateau de Windsor’ (published 1846). The work included 25 lithographic plates, including this image - the visit to Claremont House. The French King visited Claremont House on 14 October 1844, where he was met by the Duchess of Kent. Queen Victoria later lent the house to the exiled Louis-Philippe and his wife Marie-Amelie, after the French Revolution of 1848 and the former French King died there on 26 August 1850.
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