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Photographic Portraits by Lafayette from the Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London


This great military hero was sent to London by the Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia to attend the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII.

He made the most of this trip to view the new technologies, and while in the countryside in July 1902 he and his entourage rode for the first time in an automobile. The Autocar reported that “he was most highly interested and delighted with the trip.”

Other portraits from the Lafayette archive

Negative No: Laf 3452B
Date: August 1902

Negative No.: Laf 2220 Date: 9 December 1899



At the time of this portrait, Lady Randolph (mother of Winston Churchill) was a widow. The following year she married, the young and dashing George Cornwallis-West – the brother of Princess Daisy von Pless. George was a keen motorist and a director of a British automobile manufacturer.

Negative No: Laf 8151
Date: 26 November 1919

An early proponent of motoring, even though facilities for the import of petrol into India were difficult until 1905, the Maharaja favoured De Dietrich automobiles for his own “stable”, and acquired a number of them during his famous shopping trips to London.

Negative No: Laf 1506
Date: 27 August 1897

Her brother, Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, lent his name to a manufacturing company selling motor cars. The last Talbot car was made by the firm in 1992 when the Peugeot parent company closed down the brand. .

All texts copyright Barbara Borkowy and Russell Harris 2007