A collection of rare photographs from the first photography commission for a Royal trip abroad has been purchased by Birmingham Library and Archive Services. Taken by the pioneering British photographer Francis Bedford (1816-1894), they chronicle the ‘Tour in the East’ made in 1862 by the Prince of Wales, (the late Edward VII).

Bedford became the first official photographer to accompany a member of the British Royal Family when he was invited to travel as part of the entourage of the Prince of Wales on a ‘Tour In The East’ which covered Athens, Corfu, Constantinople, Tripoli, Egypt, Syria and the Holy Land.

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