Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Queen Victoria Receiving News of Her Accession to the Throne

Queen Victoria Receiving News of Her Accession to the Throne by Henry Tanworth Wells, 1887 (Royal Collection Trust)

In the early hours of the morning on Tuesday 20th June 1837 Queen Victoria receives the news of her accession from Lord Conyngham (left) and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Kensington Palace.

In her diary Victoria wrote: "I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma,who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham (the Lord Chamberlain) then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen."

 Victoria Regina by Henry Tanworth Wells, 1880
(Tate Gallery, London)

The painter, Henry Tanworth Wells (1828–1903), was inspired by the description of the incident he read in the Diaries of Miss Frances Williams Wynn and first attempted a much larger version which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1880.

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