Proxy alberta portraits 2 (PROXY Gallery: Alberta)

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Following the ceremony, the queen kissed Louise, and Lorne — now a member of the royal family, but still a subject — kissed the queen's hand.


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The couple then journeyed to Claremont in Surrey for the honeymoon, but the presence of attendants on the journey, and at meal times, made it impossible for them to talk privately. Among their wedding gifts was a maplewood desk from Queen Victoria, now at Inveraray Castle. As viceregal consort, she used her position to support the arts and higher education and the cause of female equality, although she said "the subject of Domestic Economy lies at the root of the — highest life of every true woman.

On 15 November , the couple left Liverpool and arrived in Canada for the inauguration at Halifax on 25 November. Louise became the first royal to take up residence in Rideau Hall , officially the queen's royal residence in Ottawa. Louise put her artistic talents to work and hung many of her watercolour and oil paintings around the hall, also installing her sculpted works. Though the news that a daughter of the queen would be viceregal consort of Canada first saw a "thrill of joy burst upon the Dominion", it being felt that the princess would be a strong link between Canadians and their sovereign, [34] the arrival of the new governor general and his wife was not initially welcomed by the Canadian press, which complained about the imposition of royalty on the country's hitherto un-regal society.

Relations with the press further deteriorated when Lorne's private secretary, Francis de Winton , threw four journalists off the royal train. Although the Lornes had no knowledge of de Winton's action, it was assumed by the press that they did, and they earned an early reputation for haughtiness. The cultural significance of the blanket coat in genteel society, with reference to several early Governors-General and their wives, can be found in "'Very Picturesque and Very Canadian': Eventually the worries of a rigid court at Rideau Hall and the "feeble undercurrent of criticism" turned out to be unfounded as the royal couple proved to be more relaxed than their predecessors.

Louise's first few months in Canada were tinged with sadness as her favourite sister, the Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine , died on 14 December Although homesick over that first Christmas, Louise soon grew accustomed to the winter climate. Sleighing and skating were two of her favourite pastimes. In Canada, as the monarch's direct representative, Lorne always took precedence over his wife, so that at the Opening of the Parliament of Canada on 13 February , Louise was ranked no differently from others in attendance.

She had to remain standing with the MPs, until Lorne asked them to be seated. However, some of the Canadian ladies responded negatively to the British party.

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One of her ladies-in-waiting reported that some had an "'I'm as good as you' sort of manner when one begins a conversation. However, the ball was marred by various mishaps, including a drunken bandsman nearly starting a fire by pulling a curtain over a gas lamp. One attendee was horrified to find the attendee's grocer dancing in the same set. Louise and Lorne founded the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts , and enjoyed visiting Quebec where they made their summer home , and Toronto.

Louise, Lorne, and two attendants, were hurt in a sleigh accident on 14 February Louise was knocked unconscious when she hit her head on the iron bar supporting the roof, and Lorne was trapped underneath her, expecting "the sides of the carriage to give way at any moment".

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The doctors who attended Louise reported she was severely concussed and in shock, and that "it was a wonder her skull was not fractured". As it was, one Member of Parliament wrote: News of the accident was also played down in Britain, and in letters home to the anxious Queen Victoria. She played a major role in the development of the nascent tourism industry of the colony of Bermuda , miles south-east of Nova Scotia. In , because of her fragile health, she spent the winter in Bermuda, popularising a trend for wealthy North Americans to escape to Bermuda's relatively mild climate during the winter months.

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Her visit brought such attention to Bermuda that a palatial hotel, which opened in , intended to cater to these new visitors, was named after her; the Princess Hotel was built on the shore of Hamilton Harbour , in the parish of Pembroke. After returning to Britain in , Louise continued to take an interest in Canada. During the North-West Rebellion of she sent a certain Dr. Boyd medical supplies and a large fund of money for distribution. Her express instructions were that assistance was to be rendered to friend and foe indiscriminately.

In the province, there is Lake Louise , and Mount Alberta is named in her honour. Louise returned to Britain, from Quebec , with her husband on 27 October , and landed at Liverpool. Louise retained those apartments until her death there 56 years later. Lorne resumed his political career, campaigning unsuccessfully for the Hampstead seat in In , he won the South Manchester seat, entering parliament as a Liberal. Louise, unlike Lorne and his father, was in favour of Irish Home Rule , and disappointed when he defected from Gladstonian Liberalism to the Liberal Unionists.

Louise's relationship with the two sisters closest to the queen, Beatrice and Helena , was strained at best. Beatrice had married the tall and handsome Prince Henry of Battenberg in a love match in , and they had four children. Louise, who had a jealous nature, had grown accustomed to treating Beatrice with pity on account of the queen's constant need for her.

Further rumours spread that Louise was having an affair with Arthur Bigge , later Lord Stamfordham , the queen's assistant private secretary. Beatrice mentioned the rumours to the queen's physician, calling it a "scandal", [62] and Prince Henry claimed to have seen Bigge drinking to Louise's health at dinner. James Reid, the queen's physician, wrote to his wife a few years later: Hope she won't stay long or she will do mischief! Rumours of affairs did not surround only Bigge.

In , the sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm died in Louise's presence at his studio in London, leading to rumours that the two were having an affair. During Victoria's last years, Louise carried out a range of public duties, such as opening public buildings, laying foundation stones, and officiating at special programmes. Louise, like her eldest sister Victoria , was more liberally minded, and supported the suffragist movement, completely contrary to the queen's views.

Louise was determined to be seen as an ordinary person and not as a member of the court.


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When travelling abroad, she often used the alias "Mrs Campbell". On one occasion, the butler approached her and requested permission to dismiss the second footman, who was late getting out of bed. When she advised that the footman be given an alarm clock, the butler informed her that he already had one. She then went so far as to suggest a bed that would throw him out at a specified time, but she was told this was not feasible. Finally, she suggested that he might be ill, and when checked, he was found to be suffering from tuberculosis.

The footman was therefore sent to New Zealand to recover. On another occasion, when she visited Bermuda , she was invited to a reception and chose to walk rather than be driven. She became thirsty along the way and stopped at a house, where she asked a black woman named Mrs McCarthy for a glass of water. Owing to the scarcity of water, the woman had to go some distance to obtain it, but was reluctant because she had to finish her ironing. When Louise offered to continue the ironing, the woman refused, adding that she was in a great hurry to finish so that she could go and see Princess Louise.

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Realising that she had not been recognised, Louise enquired whether McCarthy would recognise her again. When the woman said that she would have thought so, but was admittedly unsure, Louise replied: Louise and her sisters had another disagreement after the death of the queen's close friend, Jane Spencer, Baroness Churchill.

Determined not to put her mother through more misery, Louise wanted the news to be broken to the queen gradually. When this was not done, Louise voiced her sharp criticism of Helena and Beatrice. Louise and Beatrice were now neighbours both at Kensington Palace and Osborne. Upon Queen Victoria's death, Louise entered the social circle of her brother, the new King Edward VII , with whom she had much in common, including smoking.

The Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain , offered him the office of Governor-General of Australia that year, but the offer was declined. Louise spent much of her time at Kent House, and she frequently visited Scotland with her husband. Financial pressures did not disappear when Lorne became Duke, and Louise avoided inviting the King to Inveraray , Argyll's ancestral home, because the couple were economising. When Queen Victoria had visited the house before Lorne became Duke of Argyll, there were seventy servants and seventy-four dogs.

The Duke of Argyll's health continued to deteriorate. He became increasingly senile , and Louise nursed him devotedly from In these years Louise and her husband were closer than they had been before. He developed bronchial problems followed by double pneumonia. Louise was summoned on 28 April , and he died on 2 May. I wonder what he does now! Louise spent her last years at Kensington Palace , occupying rooms next to her sister Princess Beatrice. She made occasional public appearances with the royal family, such as at the Cenotaph at Whitehall on 11 November However, her health deteriorated.

Her last public appearance occurred in , at the Home Arts and Industries Exhibition. In December , Louise wrote to the British prime minister , Stanley Baldwin , sympathising with him about the crisis. Louise occupied herself by drafting prayers, one of which was sent to Neville Chamberlain , reading "Guide our Ministers of State and all who are in authority over us She died at Kensington Palace on the morning of 3 December at the age of 91 years, 8 months and 15 days, the same age to the day as her younger brother Prince Arthur, [87] wearing the wedding veil she had worn almost 70 years earlier.

George's Chapel on 12 December, with many members of the Royal and Argyll families present.

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Louise bestowed her name on four Canadian regiments: Queen Elizabeth II later recalled that Louise and her sister Beatrice would talk until they stunned their audience with their output of words. The province of Alberta in Canada is named after her.


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  • Although the name "Louise" was originally planned, the princess wished to honour her dead father, so the last of her given names was chosen. Lake Louise in Alberta is also named after her, as is Mount Alberta. Although her time in Canada was not always happy, she liked the Canadian people and retained close links with her Canadian regiments. Although at times she bickered with the queen, and her sisters Helena and Beatrice, the relations did not remain strained for long.

    Among the younger generations of the family, Louise's favourite relatives were the Duke and Duchess of Kent , her grandnephew and his wife. A war hospital in Erskine , Scotland, is named after Louise. It took her name as she was the first patron of the unit. The name changed over the years to Erskine Hospital and then just Erskine.

    The charity is close to its centenary year and has grown to become the biggest ex-service establishment in the country. Louise had artistic training from childhood, first with Susan Durant from , then Mary Thornycroft from , and further lessons with Edgar Boehm. Like many women artists in the nineteenth century, Louise had to make do with training intended for industrial designers and art teachers rather than fine artists. There was no training from the nude model, as there was for male art students. Louise was the most artistically talented of Queen Victoria's daughters.

    As well as being an able actress, pianist and dancer, she was a prolific artist and sculptor. When Louise sculpted a statue of the queen, portraying her in Coronation robes, the press claimed that her tutor, Sir Edgar Boehm , was the true creator of the work. The claim was denied by Louise's friends, who asserted her effort and independence.

    In , Louise and the three younger of her sisters were granted use of the royal arms , with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony and differenced by a label of three points argent. Each exhibition will consider different aspects of regional artistic production in relation to the themes and ideas being addressed in other AGA exhibitions. The first exhibition considers the icon versus the portrait. In the history of art, the icon was initially understood to be a sacred image of a religious figure.

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    These icons stand in as a proxy for the personae that they represent, and can themselves be objects of veneration. Portraits, on the other hand, are representations that are intended to provide a likeness, or an image, of a specific individual.