|A carte-de-visite portrait of Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge (1797-1889), photographed by Camille Silvy on 8 October 1860.
Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel was the wife of Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge, the tenth child and seventh son of George III. The longest-lived daughter-in-law of George III, she was the maternal grandmother of Queen Mary, the consort of George V.
Born Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa at Rumpenheim Castle, Cassel in Germany, on 7 July 1797, she was the third daughter of Friedrich III, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel and his wife Caroline Polyxena, daughter of Prince Karl Willem of Nassau-Usingen. Her father was the son of Princess Mary (1723-1772), the third daughter of King George II. In 1803, he assumed the title of Elector of Hesse-Cassel.
On 7 May at Cassel and then again on 1 June 1818, Princess Augusta married her second cousin, the Duke of Cambridge. The couple had three children, the youngest of whom was Princess Mary of Cambridge.
From 1818 until the ascension of Queen Victoria and the separation of the British and Hanoverian crowns, the Duchess of Cambridge lived in Hanover, where the Duke served as viceroy on behalf of his brothers, King George IV and King William IV. In 1837 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to Great Britain, where they lived at Cambridge Cottage, Kew, and later at St. James's Palace. The Duchess of Cambridge survived her husband by almost fifty years, dying at the age of ninety-two on 6 April 1889.
Photographed by the great French photographer, Camille Silvy, who operated a studio at 38, Porchester Terrace, London, between 1859 and 1868. Silvy was far and away the best carte-de-visite photographer working in England during the 1860’s, and his clientele included many members of the British royal family, the Orléans family in exile, and most of the aristocracy of the British Isles. He also produced many extremely fine portraits of theatrical stars. Cecil Beaton called him ‘the Gainsborough of commercial photographers.’
condition: The print presents one or two small flecks in the area of the background but is
otherwise in excellent condition, with rich, satisfying tones. The mount is clean and firm.
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