Queen Victoria by Sir George Hayter,1863, based on a work of 1838 ©National Portrait Gallery, London.

Conversators Polly Saltmarch and Eliza Doherty from London’s National Portrait Gallery were hands on in Bendigo this week as they began the process of installing some 200 portraits of Britain’s royal family, many of which have never been seen before outside the United Kingdom.

Curators, conservators and installation staff from some of the  world’s most revered museums and institutions arrived to work with the Bendigo Art Gallery team on preparations for the international exhibition, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits.

Kevin Jones and conservator Cara Varnell from Los Angeles’ Fashion Institution of  Design and Merchandising Museum prepared the silk evening dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1875 for display.

The dress is part of a carefully curated selection of artefacts and personal effects  to be  displayed alongside the National Portrait Gallery royal portraits. 

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits explores five royal dynasties from the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians to the Windsors, and highlights major events in British (and world) history from the 16th century to the present. 

Highlights include the official portraits of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, King George III, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales and Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. 

The exhibition opens at the Bendigo Art Gallery, on Saturday, March 16.


Polly Saltmarsh and Eliza Doherty from London’s National Portrait Gallery. photo: Andrew Perryman.