Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, known as Napolean III, and his wife, Eugénie de Montijo, left Paris to visit Queen Victoria on Sunday 15 April 1855. Prince Albert met the couple at Dover the following day. They then travelled by train to Windsor Castle, where they were received by the Queen. The town of Windsor was illuminated every night that Napolean and Eugénie stayed at the palace, for which purpose a sum of £700 had been set aside.
The following day, Napolean accepted an invitation to visit the Guildhall on Thursday 19 April. On that day the Emperor and Empress first travelled by train to Buckingham Palace. From there they proceeded ‘in state’ to the City of London and were received at the Guildhall, where the Recorder read a congratulatory address, which was followed by a speech from the Emperor. Afterwards a sumptuous dinner was served in the Council Chamber, attended by the Lord Mayor.
George Hayter was born in London. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1808 and later taught drawing and painting to Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent. In 1815 he was made Painter of Miniatures and Portraits to Charlotte and her husband, Prince Leopold. In the next year he travelled to Italy with the support of the Duke of Bedford and entered the Accademia di San Luca as its youngest ever member. Although Hayter returned to London in 1818, he moved back to Italy in 1826 and was in Paris from 1828 to 1831. Hayter settled in England in the early 1830s, was appointed Principal Painter-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria in 1841 and knighted the following year. Despite his successes, he was never admitted to the Royal Academy.
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