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A Pair of Victorian Photogravures of The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Clarence, 1850
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A Pair of Victorian Photogravures of The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Clarence, 1850

Measurements: Each overall: 27cm (10.75in) x 24cm (9.5in)

£425

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Hand-coloured photogravure portraits after Beechey of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV, reigned 1820-30), in 10th Hussars uniform and wearing the Garter star, and after Gainsborough of Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV, reigned 1830-37), in midshipman’s uniform and wearing the breast star of the Order of the Thistle. Both under period verre eglomise. Contained in period Hogarth frames.

George III’s wayward heir became colonel of the 10th Light Dragoons in 1796, and, impressed by the colourful uniforms of the European hussars, the Prince of Wales renamed, re-clothed and re-equipped the regiment as Britain’s first ever hussar unit in 1806. He remained its colonel until his coronation in 1820. His younger brother William Henry joined the Royal Navy at thirteen as a midshipman and was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent (1780). His experiences seem to have been little different from those of other midshipmen, though in contrast to other sailors he was accompanied on board ships by a tutor. He did his share of the cooking and was arrested with his shipmates after a drunken brawl in Gibraltar. Prince William served in the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and was the target of a kidnap plot supposedly approved by George Washington. In 1786 he was appointed the command of the sixth-rate H.M.S. Pegasus (28-guns) and came under the command of Horatio Nelson in the West Indies. Nelson was impressed by Prince William and the two became fast friends with the Prince giving the bride away at Nelson’s wedding to Frances Nisbet in 1787. Moreover Nelson wrote of him 'in attention to orders, and respect to his superior officer, I hardly know his equal.’
 

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