19th Century
HMY Victoria and Albert Inspecting the Fleet Off Portsmouth

Oil on canvas
Image size: 22 1/2 x 33 inches (57 x 84 cm)
Original gilt frame


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HMY Victoria and Albert was a twin-paddle steamer launched 25 April 1843. She functioned as a royal yacht of the sovereign of the United Kingdom, owned and operated by the Royal Navy, and was the first of three royal yachts to be named Victoria and Albert. She was laid down in 1842 at Pembroke Dock and was designed by William Symonds. She measured 1,034 tons burthen, carried two guns, and was the first royal yacht to be steam powered, being fitted with a 430 horsepower (320 kW) engine.

Steam yachts, first introduced in 1823, became popular amongst Victorian millionaires and Royalty around Europe.

She was lengthened in 1853. She was 200 feet and emerged at 260 x 33 x 22 feet, displacement 1,382 tons, with new engines of 600 horsepower (450 kW).

She made twenty voyages. She was renamed Osborne, after the launch of HMY Victoria and Albert on 16 January 1855.

Her Majesty’s Yacht Osborne continued in service, conveying the Royal Family to their summer home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. She was named after the Queen’s new estate.

In the 1861 Census, Osborne, ‘and her hulk Blonde’ had on board, Master Commanding G H K Bowers; a master, boatswain, assistant engineer, quartermaster, 2 carpenters, 11 seamen, 3 stokers and 6 boys.