Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Three portraits of children of the Danish Royal Family 

Edward Tayler (1828-1906)

Three portraits of children of the Danish Royal Family, Edward Tayler
Watercolour on paper
19th Century
5.5 x 4.7 inches, 14 x 12cms each
Bought from an exhibition at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, circa 1903, and thence by descent.
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These exquisite small portraits depict three children of the Danish Royal Family in the nineteenth century. They were bought at a Royal Academy exhibition in the early 1900s and were part of a larger group of nine portraits. It is said that on viewing them, Queen Mary exclaimed that these were her nephews and nieces. Queen Mary bought the remaining six portraits. However, the present three portraits cannot be of Queen Mary's nieces because they would not have been the correct age at this time. George V's uncle (his mother Queen Alexandra of Denmark's brother), Frederick VII of Denmark had Grandchildren of the correct age, which could explain why Queen Mary referred to them as her nieces and nephews.

Frederick VIII of Denmark was born in 1843 in Copenhagen. As his father was chosen to be the heir presumptive to the Danish throne in 1847, Frederick became the Prince of Denmark. He married Princess Louise of Sweden in 1869, and whilst the marriage was reputedly not a happy one, they produced eight children; four boys and four girls. His eldest daughter, Princess Louise of Denmark (1875-1906) married Prince Friedrich of Schaumburg-Lippe in 1896 with whom she had three children, Marie Luise, Prince Christian and Stephanie. Frederick VIII of Denmark's second eldest daughter Princess Ingeborg of Denmark married Prince Carl of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland in 1897, and they had four children, Margaretha, Martha, Astrid and Carl. It would seem likely that the present portraits are of Marie Luise (b.1897), Stephanie (b.1899) and Margaretha (b.1899).

Edward Tayler, born 1928 in Orbe Switzerland, was a miniaturist of both Swiss and British descent. He trained with his uncle Frederick Tayler who was a renowned watercolourist. After his training concluded he set up a practice as a miniature painter. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1849 to 1905. During his career Tayler received patronage from Queen Victoria, the Princess Royal, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse amongst others. Tayler actively contributed to the revival of miniature painting in the second half of the nineteenth century with the establishment of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, of which he was a founding member and treasurer. He died in London in 1906.
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