Victoria, the New Queen
Queen Victoria’s reign began in 1837, two years before Louis Daguerre presented his daguerreotype process to the world so, although she was an “early adopter” of photography, the earliest photos of her, as far as I’m aware, are from a reconstruction of her wedding that she and her husband, Albert, undertook just to get the wedding album!
There were, of course, paintings, but I find engravings to be much more natural looking, and they are useful for me to practice on. Many photos are grainy or damaged, and some of the techniques for repairing them work on drawings too.
This engraving was made in 1868 in New York, but it depicts Victoria at around the time of her accession. The tiara she’s wearing looks like one Prince Albert gave her some time after they were married, in 1840, and I’ve coloured it accordingly, but it was probably a bit of artistic licence.
Original sepia engraving.