Our latest exhibition on Capital Collections is taken from 3 small ‘Kodak’ photograph albums. The pictures document the royal visit of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Edinburgh in May 1903 following Edward’s coronation in London the previous year.
One of the albums depicts images of colonial troops who had arrived in Edinburgh prior to the King’s coronation in August 1902. Spectators have gathered as the troops are photographed marching through Edinburgh’s streets.
Many more people converged on Edinburgh for the royals’ visit. The momentous event was described by The Scotsman:
“The railways in the morning brought thousands of people into the city, and the streets were kept in a state of bustle and excitement by the arrival of the troops with their bands of music, by their disposition, and by the hurrying of people to get positions to see the King arriving”.
The streets were lined with people trying to get a glimpse of the royal procession as it passed from Waverley Station to Holyrood.
There was a public holiday in Edinburgh for the visit and the city was festooned with bunting, decorations and large ceremonial arches were placed across main roads into the city centre.
Browse the full exhibition of the Royal Visit on Capital Collections.
The photographer of these images is unknown, but the volumes were kindly donated to Central Library by the Misses D. Morison Inches of Colinton Road.
Part of the King’s visit took him to Colinton Mains where he formally opened the city’s new hospital for infectious diseases, built at a cost of £350,000. Among the welcoming committee of dignitaries were City Architect Robert Morham and the city’s Medical Officer of Health, Sir Henry Littlejohn.
The King opened the doors to the new hospital with a ceremonial gold key which had been specially crafted by Edinburgh jewellers Hamilton and Inches. Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of the key today, but it does however suggest a connection to the Misses D. Morison Inches and the photograph albums. Robert Kirk Inches, founder of Hamilton and Inches jewellers, was the father of John Morison Inches, a senior figure in Edinburgh’s brewing industry and grandfather to Doris and Denys Morison Inches of Colinton Road. Perhaps the Morison Inches family were keen to acquire a record of the prestigious visit to Edinburgh, in connection with their contribution to the Colinton Mains Hospital opening ceremony.