Watercolours from The Royal Collection
24 March - 24 June 2018
In August 1855, around the same time the Museum founders John & Joséphine Bowes were residing in Paris while forming The Bowes Museum's collection, Queen Victoria made a historic State Visit to the city. The visit by the royal party, which included Prince Albert and the couple’s two eldest children, Victoria and Albert Edward (later King Edward VII), marked a turning point in Anglo-French relations, strained since the defeat of Napoleon I at Waterloo 40 years earlier.
The Queen's visit to Paris was to celebrate this remarkable turnaround in Anglo-French relations, but also marked a growing personal friendship between Queen Victoria and the French Emperor Napoleon III following his visit to Windsor Castle earlier that year with his wife the Empress Eugénie.
This exhibition brings together 51 watercolours created for and by Queen Victoria to remember the events of the visit. Showing scenes of the splendid celebrations held in the Queen's honour, the watercolours capture this unique moment in British and French history.