Reproduction of a commemorative album published by the Shanghai Mercury shortly after His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria's seventh child, Prince Arthur) had visited Shanghai on April 8, 1890 with his wife, Princess Louise of Hohenzollern. As a Freemason, the Duke was presented by an address of Shanghai Freemasons, and made an appearance at the Shanghai Masonic Lodge.
The reporters of the Mercury called the royal visit the "greatest success Shanghai has ever witnessed", no doubt alluding to the worldwide recognition it brought to this up- and coming port city on China's southern coast. Praise was bestowed on the international community at large which had contributed in this success, stating that there was no other place on earth where a large crowd of onlookers and spectators were so well-behaved and orderly: "Where else but here could a crowd of 200.000 persons be found to give so much trouble? Nowhere else."
Shanghai itself must have been in a very festive mood indeed - judging from the few pictures published in this slim volume, the main arteries (Bund, Nanjing Road) the Duke and Duchess would pass through, for a brief period were adorned with what landscape architects call "soft monuments", disposable arrangements of flowers and plants mounted on (in this case) bamboo structures in the form of archways and the like.
The Royal Party stayed but a brief two days, and then sailed on to Bombay, India, where it arrived on April 15, 1890.
Images provided by Prof. Michael Schoenhals, to whom I extend my sincere gratitude.
Thomas H. Hahn
January 2012, Ithaca, NY
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images