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Lafayette L2826g
Neg. Date: 11-10-1901

copyright V&A

Daisy, Princess of Pless (1873-1943)

The seemingly unsuccessful portrait in its original uncropped form, where the studio curtain appears to intrude upon the sitter, starts to make sense when seen in the printed vignette format where the clumsy curtain has all but disappeared and casts a barely perceptible shadow down the right edge.

Daisy must have felt buoyant upon reading the day before this portrait was made, in the pages of The Times, that her efforts to raise funds for the graves of soldiers killed in the Boer War were being met with success and she took the opportunity thank “all those who so kindly responded to her appeal.”

Daisy’s father, as Lord Lieutenant of Denbighshire was a few days later to present medals to soldiers who had excelled in the South African war: “they volunteered to a man and showed what Britons could do in an emergency.” Daisy was careful to point out in her memoirs that the fund was “to mark and care alike for the graves of Boer and Briton in South Africa” – an early example of her urge to do good for the victims on both sides of a war.

In this 1901 series of portraits Daisy’s poise and self-confidence are noticeable.