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William Leighton Leitch
A watercolour view of Dalkeith Palace, seen in the distance beneath the bridge over the River Esk in which two men are fishing.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made their first visit to Scotland in September 1842. The royal tour was largely organised by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Midlothian and Gold Stick of Scotland, and the Queen and Prince stayed at Dalkeith Palace, the seat of the Duke, for a number of nights during their stay. The house can be seen in the distance beneath the Montague Bridge (designed by Robert Adam in 1792) over the River Esk. Queen Victoria described Dalkeith as `a large house built of reddish stone ' and the Park is fine & large'. She walked in the extensive grounds, `down by the stream (the river Esk), under a fine bridge, up a steep bank along the river'.
This watercolour is one of a series commissioned by the Duke from Leitch (who counted the Duchess of Buccleuch amongst his pupils) in the autumn of 1844. They were intended to be given to Queen Victoria as souvenirs of her visit, but the Queen did not receive the watercolours until 1888.
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