England, but not yet crowned, the portrait shows the young
Alexandria Victoria (1819-1901), dressed in royal
coronation regalia: a white dress, a gold and
fur-banded red velvet robe and, on her head, the
George IV diadem. The Coronation crown is barely
visible, half-hidden in the background to her
left and shadowed by a deep red drape. Queen Victoria's head
and shoulders are turned as she looks back.
Rather than wearing her gloves, she is holding
them, perhaps to suggest a level of informality
and approachability. Her large eyes, rosy cheeks
and slightly open mouth, make her appear sensuous
and childlike at the same time. Giving the impression
of both innocence and emotion, it seems that the
painter wants to show Victoria’s passing
from princess to Queen, from childhood to maturity.
It also seems that he wants to show her as an
affectionate and approachable personality.
Acclaimed as a masterpiece, this portrait became
one of the best known images of the Queen in early
Victorian England and shows her very differently
from the paintings of the older Queen which we
perhaps are more familiar with today.