The Galerie des Glaces at the Château of Versailles, with many guests. At the centre is Queen Victoria on the arm of Napoléon III, with Prince Albert and the Empress behind. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales is in a kilt, accompanied by Prince Napoléon, a cousin of Napoléon III, and Victoria, Princess Royal. The gentleman in red coats ahead of the procession are Grands Officiers from the Emperor's household. Signed below : V. August 1855. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent ten days in Paris, on the invitation of Napoléon III and his wife Eugénie. The historic state visit was intended to celebrate the military alliance between Britain and France in the Crimean War, and followed a visit by the imperial couple to Windsor in April that year. On 25 August there was a ball at the Palace of Versailles, arranged by the Empress, and the first to be held there since the 1789 revolution. There were 1,200 guests. Queen Victoria described the Galerie as 'full of people & one blaze of light from endless lustres, wreaths of flowers hanging down from the ceiling' (Journal, 25 August 1855). This watercolour shows the procession through the Galerie and several other rooms to the theatre, where they were served supper.
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