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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The latest portrait of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, c. 1896

John Thomson

albumen silver cabinet card photograph on card (image: 16.7 cm x 10.8 cm, sheet: 14.4 cm x 10.4 cm)

Victoria (1819–1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901. The daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, and his wife, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, she ascended the throne at eighteen on the death of her uncle, King William IV, all of her father’s older brothers having died without fathering any surviving legitimate children. She married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. They had nine children, and on Albert’s death in 1861 she entered a period of mourning that she maintained for the rest of her life. From 1876, she also used the title Empress of India. She gave her name to an era that has since become popularly thought of as conservative, prudish, and antithetical to women’s rights, yet Victoria presided over a vast empire and wielded significant influence on the policies of the many governments and colonies she was responsible for. Victoria and Queensland are just two of the numerous places around the world that are named for her. With a reign of 63 years and seven months, she held the record as history’s longest reigning female monarch, and as the longest reigning British monarch, until she was eclipsed for both titles by her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2020

Accession number: 2020.11

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Thomson (age 59 in 1896)

Queen Victoria (age 77 in 1896)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Portfolio of 54 portraits compiled by Queen Victoria, 1859–1861 by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Camille Silvy, Frances Day and William Bambridge
Portfolio of 54 portraits compiled by Queen Victoria, 1859–1861 by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Camille Silvy, Frances Day and William Bambridge
Portfolio of 54 portraits compiled by Queen Victoria, 1859–1861 by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Camille Silvy, Frances Day and William Bambridge
Portfolio of 54 portraits compiled by Queen Victoria, 1859–1861 by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Camille Silvy, Frances Day and William Bambridge

Queen of cartes

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2019

Joanna Gilmour discusses the role of the carte de visite in portraiture’s democratisation, and its harnessing by Victoria, the world’s first media monarch.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.