The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Marianne Skerrett

Marianne Skerrett

A carte-de-visite portrait of Marianne Skerrett, Queen Victoria's principal dresser.

According to Helen Rappaport's fascinating Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion (2003): Marianne Skerrett 'who entered her service in 1837 and remained till 1862, was effectively her private secretary. To Skerrett devolved the task of writing Queen Victoria's letters to tradespeople, the commissioning of artists and engravers, answering begging letters from old retainers, and paying the bills relating to the making and maintaining of the queen's clothes.'

According to the Royal Collection's website, Skerrett 'was instrumental in liaising with artists and sculptors on behalf of the Queen. She provided a direct line of communication between her mistress and artists including Landseer.'

She appears on the 1851 census, a 'Lady of the Wardrobe' living at Buckingham Palace. In 1871 she was living with her sister Henrietta, also unmarried, at 41 Beaumont Street in Marylebone. Born in Westminster in 1795, she died, aged 94, on 29 July 1887 at 41 Beaumont Street. She left an estate valued at £5994.

Photographer unidentified.

A pencilled inscription on the album page describes the sitter as 'Miss Skerrett, Lady Superintendent of the Queen's dressers.'


Code: 125201
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© Paul Frecker 2019