Queen Victoria In Paris


Watercolours from The Royal Collection

24 March - 24 June 2018

In August 1855, around the same time the Museum founders John & Joséphine Bowes were residing in Paris while forming The Bowes Museum's collection, Queen Victoria made a historic State Visit to the city. The visit by the royal party, which included Prince Albert and the couple’s two eldest children, Victoria and Albert Edward (later King Edward VII), marked a turning point in Anglo-French relations, strained since the defeat of Napoleon I at Waterloo 40 years earlier.

The Queen's visit to Paris was to celebrate this remarkable turnaround in Anglo-French relations, but also marked a growing personal friendship between Queen Victoria and the French Emperor Napoleon III following his visit to Windsor Castle earlier that year with his wife the Empress Eugénie.

This exhibition brings together 51 watercolours created for and by Queen Victoria to remember the events of the visit. Showing scenes of the splendid celebrations held in the Queen's honour, the watercolours capture this unique moment in British and French history.

Related Events


Queen Victoria, Napoleon III and the Events of 1855

15 May, 2.30

Queen Victoria, Napoleon III and the Events of 1855

Join Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust, to learn more about Queen Victoria’s historic state visit in Paris in 1855; a remarkable moment in Anglo-French relations. The events of this ten-day tour – spectacular balls, firework displays and cheering crowds as well as the quieter moments – are brought to life through discussion of the watercolours on display in the upcoming fascinating exhibition Queen Victoria in Paris

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The Majestic May Family Fun Day

31 May, 11.00 – 4.00

The Majestic May Family Fun Day

Bonjour! Celebrating Queen Victoria in Paris, climb aboard for our journey to France during this drop in session. Take part in our French inspired day, the home of our beloved founder Josephine Bowes. Let’s see who can build the tallest Eiffel Tower! Children must be accompanied by a pass holder.


Watercolour Wonder

29 & 30 May, 11.00 - 4.00

Watercolour Wonder

Be inspired by the Royal Collection watercolours and experiment with new techniques from bubble painting to creating your own watercolour painting to take home. Children must be accompanied by a pass holder.


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