In 1862, the Prince of Wales embarked on a grand tour of the Middle East, accompanying the royal party was Francis Bedford, an accomplished practitioner of the still young art of photography.
Francis Bedford (1815-94) was an English architect and lithographer who took up the new art of photography in the early 1850s and began fulfilling royal commissions for Queen Victoria in 1857. In 1862 he was appointed official photographer to the Prince of Wales's tour of the Middle East, and his photographs from this trip were critically acclaimed. His London photographic studio prospered until his death in 1894. Sophie Gordon is senior curator of photographs at the Royal Collection Trust and has published widely on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photography. Badr El Hage is an independent photo-historian who has worked as a freelance writer and curator in the Middle East.