On a visit to the Danish court in 1883, Alexandra, Princess of Wales joined her mother and sisters at two grand pianos side by side to play arrangements for eight hands.
In 1861 Queen Victoria had selected Alexandra as the right wife for her difficult eldest son. The ceremony took place in 1863.
Alexandra's attire on the great occasion owed a great debt to her powerful mother-in-law's love of embellishment. The design, as worn, resembled an enormous confection of pastry, sufficient to feed thousands.
But soon enough – as a young married woman free to choose for herself – the new Princess of Wales grew to be much admired by the public for her stylishness.
She was admired by the Queen for her watercolors. Those below include decoupage-work with family photographs.
Above, Alexandra in domestic costume with daughter Maud. Below, a somewhat less convincing image of maternity in a day-dress of velvet and lace with flounces descending in heavy cascades.
When the Shah of Persia visited the Prime Minister at Hatfield House, the Princess of Wales wore a gown cut with daring novelty to exploit a border-print – the fabric quite possibly Persian in origin. Her husband the wayward Prince is at far left, a tribute to his tailors. The pair of them taken together succeed in making everybody else look rumpled.