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When the Ruins Were New

In 1862, the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VII fled a sex scandal and took a trip to the Middle East. At the last minute, he was joined by a photographer named Francis Bedford, who proceeded to capture some of the earliest images of the Egyptian ruins. His work is featured in the new book Cairo to Constantinople:

"The royal journey’s motive, too, may have been more complex than suggested. Ostensibly it was a private, informal expedition. It was urged by Queen Victoria for her son’s education (pretty much a lost cause, according to his guardian) and she ordered that the Prince go incognito, with no ceremonial encounters. But the itinerary seems to have been planned above all by the Prince Consort Albert, as a diplomatic initiation for the young man and to foster goodwill."

(via @dougcoulson)
PUBLISHED: July 6, 2013
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1646 words)