Jemma Kidd and Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Mornington, 2005

The bride wore: Christian Lacroix Couture

About the dress: It arrived in a six-foot-long custom-made wooden box in order to fly from London to Barbados in a first-class seat.

Photographed by Robert Fairer, Vogue, September 2005

See more of the most memorable model weddings—on and off the pages of Vogue—on

Wellington and the Crying Schoolboy

The Duke once met a little boy, crying by the road. “Come now, that’s no way for a young gentleman to behave. What’s the matter?” he asked.
“I have to go away to school tomorrow,” sobbed the child, “and I’m worried about my pet toad. There’s no-one else to care for it and I shan’t know how it is.”
Keen to ease the little chap’s discomfort, the Duke promised to attend to the matter personally.
After the boy had been at school for just over a week, he received a note: “Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Master —- and has the pleasure to inform him that his toad is well.”

This picture shows the Duke of Wellington offering a gift to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Prince Arthur, in a scene resembling the Adoration of the Magi. The painting was commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the 1st of May 1851, which held a threefold significance: it was the first birthday of Prince Arthur, the eighty-second birthday of prince’s godfather the Duke of Wellington, and the opening day of the Great Exhibition. Prince Arthur holds Lily-of-the-valley, a traditional 1st of May gift said to bring good luck. The Crystal Palace can be seen in the background.


Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852)

Mariscal de campo del Imperio Británico y Duque de Wellington
Marescalcus Imperii Britannici et Dux de Wellington
Feldmarschall des Britisches Weltreich und Herzog von Wellington
Field marshal of the British Empire and Duke of Wellington
Maréchal de camp de l'Empire Britannique et Duc de Wellington

George Dawe (1781-1829), 1829.


Thank you to @saxonsvictory for telling me they had done this. Oh my god. 



Paintings in Apsley House of Napoleon or including Napoleon, that has either been bought by or given to the 1st Duke of Wellington.

The paintings are, in order (links to bigger pictures): 

  1. Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul by Laurent Dabos

    The charming story of the Duke’s acquisition of this picture is set out by Evelyn Wellington:

    “‘Mr. Martin in his MS notes respecting the Apsley House pictures, says: “… (A) Mr Fleming … received by mistake an invitation to dinner, intended by the Duke for another gentleman of the same name. The messenger, discovering his error, requested the return of the card, but the receiver declared that, mistake or no mistake, he had accepted the invitation, and meant to avail himself of it. He came at the time appointed, was received by the Duke, and on the following day sent the picture of the ‘First Consul’ as an amende honorable.’”

    Mr Fleming writes to the Duke of Wellington as follows:

    “[…] As Mr F has been assured by some who have had an opportunity of seeing the Chief Consul about the time when this portrait was taken, that it is an exceeding good likeness, he hopes His Grace will do him the honour of accepting it and giving it a place in his Collection. […]”

    A gift by Mr Fleming to the 1st Duke of Wellington in 1824

  2. Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor by Robert Lefèvre

    “Bought by the 1st Duke of Wellington before 1820.”

  3. Napoleon Bonaparte after a painting by François Gérard. 

    “Bought by or presented to the 1st Duke of Wellington before 1830” - possibly given to him by the painter

  4. Napoleon in the Prison of Nice in 1794 by Edward Matthew Ward

    “Napoleon was given command of the artillery of the Army in Italy in February 1794 at the age of twenty- four, but his relations with the Jacobins became strained during the height of the Terror later in the year. The picture is described in detail in the British Institution catalogue of 1841: ‘He incurred the suspicion of Laporte and the other “representatives” attached to the “army of Italy” in consequence of a journey to the Gulf of Genoa, which he performed in obedience to secret orders from Paris; and, as soon as his absence from headquarters was thus explained, he regained his freedom. The officer who came to re- lease him was surprised to find him busy in his dungeon over the map of Lombardy. – Lockhart.’ Various inscriptions, including Vive la Nation and Napoleón, are clearly visible on the wall behind Napoleon.

    According to a tradition enshrined in the Wellington Catalogue, the artist was highly pleased at the Duke’s purchase of this picture and said that it was ‘his first success’.

    Bought by the 1st Duke of Wellington from the artist in 1841.”

  5. The Passage of the Danube by Napoleon before the Battle of Wagram by Jacques-François-Joseph Swebach

    “Napoleon himself stands in the right centre foreground accompanied by a General and a Marshal, talking to an officer of the ordnance.”

    Bought from original owner by the 1st Duke of Wellington in 1843

  6. The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allan
    A painting representing the battle from the French side, Napoleon visible on his white horse to the right. 

    “[…] the picture’s accuracy is attested by Wellington himself, who bought it at the R.A. in 1843 for £600 and was said to have commented: ‘Good – very good; not too much smoke’. […]

    Bought by the 1st Duke of Wellington from the artist for £600 in 1843.”

Someone mentioned that Wellington was a bit of Napoleon fanatic and I got the idea to make this post.

It can also be added that in addition to this Wellington bought or received two pictures of Joseph Bonaparte, one picture of Pauline Bonaparte and one picture of Joséphine Bonaparte, plus one that the Duke at the time he bought it thought was a picture of Joséphine but that is now considered not to be her but probably one of Napoleon sisters or sister-in-laws.

Paintings & information