At her Diamond Jubilee Review at Spithead on 26th 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. 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'. The painting has been signed and dated.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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