D is for …. Duke

The Duke of Connaught, to be precise: Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria’s seventh child (and third son). Connaught served as Commander in Chief of the British Army in Bengal in 1886-90. As was increasingly common in the later nineteenth century, he made his way back to Britain by undertaking what we would now recognise as a ‘royal tour’. This journey took in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan and Canada. His visit to Shanghai was brief, but the British community took the opportunity to deck the city with memorial arches and other signs of their aspiration to be considered an actively loyal part of the wider world of British power and influence. As well as a formal gathering at the Masonic Hall, the Duke officially unveiled the statue of Sir Harry Parkes on the Bund, which faced the eastern end of the Nanjing Road.


Unveiling of the statue of Sir Harry Parkes by the Duke of Connaught, 8 April 1890, Billie Love collection, BL01-09.

An album of 13 photographs of the Duke’s visit to Shanghai has now been uploaded into ‘Historical Photographs of China’. Some of the plates are also available on Thomas Hahn’s Zenfolio site.

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