Sydney, N.S.W. during the visit of H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh in the Galatea, 1868.
[Title from contemporary caption in ink on mount]. Four albumen print photographs laid down on an album page; clockwise, from left, the prints are individually captioned in pencil: ‘Triumphal Arch, Macquarie Street, Sydney’; ‘Triumphal Arch, Circular Quay, Sydney’; ‘Hyde Park & Pavilion, Sydney’; ‘Triumphal Arch, Government House, Sydney’, and (at centre) ‘Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. HMS Galatea’; the four outdoor views are in standard carte de visite format (two with arched tops), and measure approximately 62 x 90 mm each, while the portrait of Prince Alfred (oval format) measures 52 x 40 mm; the view of the Macquarie Street Arch has a small section of damage at bottom edge, otherwise all of the prints are in good condition; the album page is decorated with a number of small caricatures in pencil made by the original album compiler.
Prince Alfred’s visit of 1867-68 was the first to the Australian colonies by a member of the royal family, a momentous event which created enormous public interest. In March 1868 he survived an assassination attempt at Clontarf, Sydney, when he was shot in the back by an Irish nationalist, Henry James O’Farrell.
This page from a contemporary album contains views of three of the temporary Welcome (or Triumphal) Arches that were constructed around Sydney in the Prince’s honour. Of particular interest, however, is the view of Hyde Park from the spire of St James’ Church at bottom left, as it shows the just-completed temporary ballroom designed for Alfred’s visit in January 1868. Although a slightly earlier view of the uncompleted Pavilion taken from St. James’ spire is held in the State Library of New South Wales (Call no. SPF/891), the view of the completed structure appears unrecorded in Australian collections.
No photographer(s) are identified. However, at least one of the views (Macquarie Street Arch) is by Sydney photographer John Hubert Newman; the other views, as well as the studio portrait of Prince Alfred, are quite possibly also attributable to Newman.