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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)

1903
H. Walter Barnett

platinum photograph (mount: 33.0 cm x 26.2 cm, image/sheet: 27.5 cm x 21.5 cm)

George Frederick Ernest Albert, The Duke of Cornwall and York and later King George V (1865–1936) was the second eldest son of King Edward VII, who ascended the throne on Queen Victoria’s death in January 1901. With the first Parliament of Australia set to open in early May, the mourning King sent George, now next in line to the throne, to Australia as his representative. The Duke and his Duchess, Mary (1867–1953) left England on 15 March aboard an Orient steamship specially chartered for the voyage. Two days after arriving in Melbourne, on 9 May, the royal couple drove through streets lined with cheering crowds to the Exhibition Building, where the Duke declared the Parliament open before thousands of guests. Later the same month it was confirmed in a letter to new Prime Minister Edmund Barton that ‘Mr Tom Roberts’ had undertaken to create a painting of the event. ‘This gentleman is desirous of getting sittings of the Duke and Duchess before they leave Australia’, the letter continued. In 1903, when Roberts was in London working on the project, he requested portraits of the Duke and Duchess from his friend, photographer Walter Barnett. Roberts then referred to these photographs in the completion of his ‘Big Picture’, which contains over 200 individual portraits.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

H. Walter Barnett (age 41 in 1903)

King George V (age 38 in 1903)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Peter Roberts (6 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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