Prince of Wales Visit to Portland Maine, 1860
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Published 03/01/17 MidCoast History

In 1860, Queen Victoria sent her 18-year-old son across the Atlantic for an extended diplomatic tour of North America. After spending two months in Canada, the Prince of Wales traveled on to the United States and visited the cities of Detroit, Chicago, St Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington, Rich-mond, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

On Oct. 16, 1860, the British Royal Squadron sailed into Portland Harbor to carry the future King Ed-ward VII back to England. Albert’s train arrived in Portland at half past one. He toured the crowded streets in an open horse-drawn carriage on his way to the docks, where a barge was waiting to take him out to the screw battleship Hero. Two large steamers, the Lewiston and the Forest City, sold tickets for a voyage to accompany the royal squadron out of the harbor at 4 p.m. The little prince stood on the poop deck waving his hat at the cheering crowds while a 21-gun salute was fired, casting a haze of gun smoke across the harbor. A few minutes later he was gone.

The image above depicts the Royal Fleet anchored in Portland Harbor. It’s an original pictorial sheet extracted from a scarce 19th century illustrated popular weekly periodical. It depicts the embarkation of the Prince of Wales at Portland. The visual presentation is unique to the era. The print is on exhibit at the offices of Drum & Drum Real Estate in Damariscotta.