Buckingham Palace, London, England
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A pencil and wash drawing depicting the arrival of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, at Agra on 25 January 1876. The Prince is seated in a howdah on the back of an elephant. at his desk in the royal tent in the camp at Delhi. Inscribed, dated and signed: Arrival of H. R. H. The Prince of Wales at Agra. 25thJan. 1876. Wm Simpson. In October 1875, Albert Edward, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, embarked on an extensive tour of the Indian subcontinent. The Prince visited more than 21 towns and cities before returning to England in May 1876. The Prince of Wales's tour of India was envisaged as a way of forging diplomatic links between the Indian rulers and the British Crown. The Prince exchanged gifts with each ruler he met and some of the most significant Indian works of art in the Royal Collection today were acquired during this tour. William Simpson was a draughtsman and printmaker who worked for the Illustrated London News. He was sent by that newspaper in October 1875 to India to cover the tour made by the Prince of Wales. In 1876 over 200 of his sketches from the tour were exhibited at the Burlington Gallery; the Prince of Wales visited the exhibition and bought fifteen sketches, and Queen Victoria later saw the body of work at Windsor Castle and acquired four.