Albert Edward (1841–1910), Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales, from 1874 to 1901. In this portrait, Albert Edward is wearing the regalia of Grand Master and the jewels, or badges, of individual Masonic lodges. He is also wearing the Order of Karl XIII around his neck, established by King Karl XIII of Sweden (1809–1818) and given to high ranking Freemasons. It was given to Albert Edward in 1868 when he became a Freemason in Sweden, although it is not a Masonic order but a civil one. Desanges was a French artist who lived in London from 1845. He is generally remembered today for his portraits of Victoria Cross winners and other military paintings. This portrait was painted on a ‘second-hand’ canvas, and a man in a military uniform can be glimpsed beneath.
Where to see this painting?
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
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