During 2021, grand royal 19th century fashion will be shown at Tjolöholm Castle. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are depicted from majestic festivities to the family’s private sphere. In parallel with the exhibition is the story of the Tjolöholm’s family Dickson’s journey from Great Britain to Gothenburg.


This exhibition takes the visitor to Britain in mid-19th century, which was known as the Victorian era. It was a revolutionary period when society was both curious and innovative but at the same time strictly moral.

The Great exhibition at Crystal Palace in London in 1851 was a Victorian highlight and a lavish display of modern industrial technology and design. The Great exhibition was also a great success for the Prince Consort Albert. Under Victoria’s rule, the small island nation grew into a worldwide empire where Queen Victoria ruled over a quarter of the world’s population. She was a world celebrity who greatly influenced her contemporaries, and her descendants are found in most of Europe’s royal houses.


During this period, the Dickson family created their fortune and established life in Gothenburg. The exhibition portrays the family’s early history in Sweden and how their British heritage and the Victorian era inspired the family. The British origin was important when James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson built Tjolöholm Castle. Even though the family lived in Sweden for generations, they maintained their British traditions and always spoke English to each other.


The costumes shown in the exhibition are taken from the British TV series Victoria, from 2016-2019. The main part of the series takes place in mid-19th century when the ideal fashion was the typical princess dress with large puff sleeves, wide skirts and crinoline. The costumes on display include the magnificent coronation costume, well-tailored riding outfits and extravagant silk dresses. Prince Albert’s stately clothes are represented as well. Men wore tailored coats, tight trousers and a top hat. The series costume designers James Keast and Rosalind Ebbutt´s inspiration came from preserved collections of Victoria’s wardrobe and from the large number of portraits and early photographs of the British queen and her Prince Albert.


The exhibition “Queen Victoria – Dressed to Rule an Empire” will be shown in the castle from 20 February to 30 December 2021. The exhibition follows current pandemic restrictions and a limited number of tickets will be available.