A RARE photograph of Edward VII’s wife Queen Alexandra will go under the hammer in Dorchester.

The image, which is up for sale at Duke’s Grove Auctions in Dorchester on Tuesday, December 13, is one of the first informal portraits taken of the Queen by herself when she was still a princess and is expected to fetch up to £400.

It shows Princess Alexandra on Queen Victoria’s royal yacht Osborne with two of her dogs reading a book.

The photograph has been hand coloured by Joseph Wilson, one of the foremost photographic developers of the era and is in excellent condition.

Dukes valuer Amy Brenan said: “Usually old photographs do not tend to make huge money unless they capture someone famous or are historically important. However, this photograph is exceptional in that it is a personal, rather than formal portrait of the Queen.”

For more information call Duke’s on 01305 265080 or email enquiries@dukes-auctions.com<&eh>