Sunday, February 3, 2013

Royal Pets: Princes Ernest and Edward of Leiningen, 1839

Princes Ernest and Edward of
Leiningen, 1839
Sir William Ross
Watercolor on Ivory

Queen Victoria’s step-nephews (the sons of Charles, Third Prince of Leiningen, Victoria’s half-brother) visited the Queen in 1839 and took great pleasure in tearing around the Royal residences. Queen Victoria wrote in her journal during their visit, “‘The two dear (though very naughty) boys came and stayed in my room till near 12, alas for the last time.”

Princes Ernest and Edward of Leiningen were quite taken with the Royal animals—particularly Victoria’s favorite Skye Terrier, Islay and a parrot known as The Great Macaw. The Queen commissioned artist Sir William Ross to paint a miniature on ivory of the two boys. They are forever captured in play with Islay and the macaw as Ernest offers the parrot a biscuit which seems to also be the object of Islay’s desire.

Though we don’t know exactly when the two boys sat for Ross, we do know that the miniature was completed by the end of 1839.

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