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The prince visited numerous sights during the tour. Their individual significance and appeal are enhanced by the startling depth and clarity of detail of Bedford’s photography. The images are particularly impressive given the difficult conditions of their production in hot, sometimes sandy locations. The sights selected for photography also reflect how key landmarks provided a focus for the cultural transmission between the prince and the people he met on the tour. This continued back in Britain as Bedford’s images were exhibited to the public and made available for purchase. Their commercialisation exposed a wider Victorian audience to these ‘Sights of Wonder’, which included locations of religious significance that had never before been photographed.
Francis Bedford, Chapel of Horus on the north side of the Great Court of the Temple of Isis Philae, Egypt (detail)
13 March 1862. Albumen print, 240 x 294 mm. Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Below is a video provided by the Royal Collection Trust which explains the wet collodion photographic process used by Francis Bedford while touring with the prince. As a process it had only been invented in the 1850s, just over 10 years before it was used by Bedford during the Royal Tour with such skill