Technology, Imperial Connections and Royal Tourism on the Prince of Wales’s 1875 Visit to India

  • Joe De Sapio
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


On 11 October 1875, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, boarded a train from Charing Cross and began an extensive seven-month journey which took him from Britain throughout Europe, to the outposts of the British Empire in Egypt and Aden, conducting a whirlwind tour of British India, before returning home in May of the following year. The Prince was no stranger to royal travel: he had represented the Monarchy during a voyage to British North America and the United States in 1860, and he had been present at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 with excursionist Thomas Cook. The Prince was also a regular visitor to the continental spa towns of Marienbad and Biarritz. It was on his voyages to North America and Asia, however, that the first steps were taken towards the establishment of the spectacular royal goodwill tour — a tradition which was polished and formalised in the early twentieth century, and which continues today. Indeed, the 1875 royal tour was remarkable at the time for its exhibi-tion of monarchical spectacle and royal ceremonial. The activities of the Prince, whether aboard ship, at a fête or roaming about the Indian countryside, broadcast an image of an institution which, while remaining firmly entrenched within the weighty historical legacy of British-Indian relations, also managed to appear courteous, energetic and, perhaps most importantly, mobile and modern.


Suez Canal Travel Experience Royal Family British Empire Imperial Difference 
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© Joe De Sapio 2013

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  • Joe De Sapio

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