Victoria and Albert
When the Museum opened in 1850 Queen Victoria was its patron and it was named the Royal Museum and Library. Victoria loaned numerous artefacts to the museum for various temporary exhibitions. Along with two paintings by W. Mulready she also donated cashmere shawl cloths, cashmere silk threads, cotton (purrepuz), and Indian papers to be exhibited at the 1859 exhibition.
Victoria and Albert passed through Salford as part of their grand tour of Lancashire. In order to welcome the royal couple, and to outshine neighbouring Manchester, 82,000 children and their teachers lined up in Peel Park to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ as the royal procession passed by. Victoria is said to have stopped her carriage in amazement. It proved, however, impossible to manage the enormous choir and shortly into the second verse the children started cheering and began to disband. Victoria wrote in her diary of the good behaviour of the crowds and noted that the people in Salford were ‘a very intelligent but painfully unhealthy looking population’.
Albert visited the South (Victorian) Gallery on 6th May 1857.