'In Honour of our Queen': Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Review at Spithead, 26 June 1897

At her Diamond Jubilee Review at Spithead on 26 June 1897, Queen Victoria was represented by the Prince of Wales. He was in the Royal yacht 'Victoria and Albert II', which can be seen to the right, flying the Royal standard. The Prince is reviewing the fleet including 21 battleships and 56 cruisers. On the left the 'Renown' leads the line of the Majestic-class battleships. (the ship just behind 'Renown' is possibly either either the 'Devastation' or the 'Thunderer') Contemporary accounts state that when the Royal yacht reached the 'Renown', she anchored and made a signal that the Prince desired on board the presence of all the flag-officers and their immediate members of staffs. A steam-launch, bearing a huge flag at the stern, left the side of each flag-ship, thus, the Prince was able to thank the officers for their part in the event. This steam-launch with its large flag is visible immediately in front of the Royal yacht. On the right are the Russian cruiser 'Rossiya', while the white-hulled American cruiser 'Brooklyn', newly completed, can be seen to the right and rear of the Royal yacht. The Royal yacht also flies the Admiralty fouled anchor flag, and the ships in the review are depicted dressed overall. The review was seen as an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the nation's sea power and to underscore the significance and responsibilities of Empire. The inclusion of so many battleships was alone seen as confirmation of this supremacy. The masts of the battleships can be seen on the left. Every vessel, as the Prince came abreast of her, played 'God Save the Queen'.

The artist was primarily an illustrator who worked for a number of periodicals including the 'Illustrated London News' and 'The Graphic'. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898 under the title 'In Honour of our Queen' and purchased for the Museum in 1934 with a letter by Dixon identifying the ships shown. It is signed and dated.

Object Details

ID: BHC0645
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Dixon, Charles Edward
Places: Spithead
Vessels: Renown (1895); Victoria and Albert (1855) Rossiya (1896)
Date made: 1898
People: Queen Victoria
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Painting: 940 x 1854 mm; Frame: 1266 mm x 2186 mm x 162 mm

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