Queen Victoria is seen here in her later years. She sits and stares ahead, while resting one elbow on the table before her, with her hand tucked under her chin. The other hand gently holds the framed pictures on the table. The Queen wears the blue sash of the Garter, representing her membership of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of English Chivalry. She is heavily laden with diamond and pearl jewellery. Her black dress is embroidered with gold thread and decorated with pearls. A fine embroidered veil covers her head and shoulders, upon which is a gold and pearl tiara.
This portrait is based on a photograph by William Slade Stuart (1858-1938), taken in June 1897.
From at least 1927 to 1936, just two years before his death, William Slade Stuart was working as a photographer in Richmond, Surrey. He took numerous portrait photographs of British and European Royals. Among those now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, are portraits of Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck; King Manuel II of Portugal; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; and Victoria Eugenie ('Ena') of Battenberg, Queen of Spain. Stuart died at the age of 80 and was buried in Richmond Cemetery, alongside Maria Westcombe Stuart, presumably his wife, who had died 11 years earlier at the age of 69.
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