Queen Victoria opening the Great Exhibition, Hyde Park, 1851.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the Illustrated London News (Vol 51/1 P 349). The Crystal Palace was built to house the 'Great Exhibition of the Works of the Industry of all Nations', conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861). At the opening ceremony, the Prince Consort read an addres to the Queen on behalf of his fellow commisioners. The Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), can be seen to the left of the Queen. The procesion through the building that followed the Opening Ceremony was led by Joseph Paxton (1801-1865), the architect; Charles Fox (1810-1874), the contractor; and the superintendents of the works. Also prominent was Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859).