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Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Historic Photographs
This illustration shows Queen Victoria receiving the keys of the City of Aberdeen in October 1857 as she travelled to the railway station after a summer spent at Balmoral. The Queen and the Prince Consort had travelled by coach the 60 miles from Balmoral to visit the Earl of Aberdeen at Haddo House on Wednesday 14th October. Their route was decorated with flags and arches at various points. A dinner, with a number of guests, including Lord Provost Webster of Aberdeen, was held at Haddo that evening and huge bonfires on surrounding hills lit the scene. On Thursday 15th October, the Queen and Prince Consort left Haddo, accompanied by the Earl and his son. More decorative arches had been erected on the roads south to Aberdeen. The Lord Provost, magistrates and councillors met the Queen at this Royal Arch near the city boundary at Love Lane (now Nelson Street) on King Street. The arch had been designed by the City Architect, William Smith. It was 15 feet wide, 26 feet high, with two smaller side arches. It was surmounted by the Royal Arms, flags and banners, with the words, "God save the Queen" and "Victoria", on either side in gilt letters. The side arches had the City motto, "Bon Accord", with floral crowns above, with flowers, evergreens and heather decorations. Many of the Guard of Honour wore the Crimean medal. The Lord Provost presented the silver keys on a velvet cushion to the Queen, who touched them, returned them to the Provost and said, "It affords me great gratification to be once more in my City of Aberdeen". The dignitaries returned to their coaches and the procession traveled on to Guild Street railway station, where, after a luncheon, the Royal Party now joined by the Royal children, who had come direct from Balmoral, boarded the train for Windsor.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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