Queen Victoria and family assembled after the wedding of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse. April 21, 1894.
Note: This photograph was acquired by Queen Victoria to be part of her series of albums titled ‘Portraits of Royal Children’. She is surrounded by descendants from across Europe, assembled for the wedding of Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (the daughter of Queen Victoria’s son, Alfred) and the Grand Duke of Hesse (the son of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Alice). Sitting the with the Queen is her eldest daughter Victoria, now Dowager Empress of Germany, with her eldest son, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia are also in the group. Nicholas and Princess Alexandra of Hesse, standing next to him, had announced their engagement on 20 April 1894. The photograph represents Queen Victoria’s position as the ‘grandmother’ of Europe, at the moment before family alliances began to collapse and Europe eventually erupted into war in 1914.