Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 17:41 UK

King's proclamation picture found

Ascension proclamation
The picture is thought to be the only record of the event

A rare photograph showing the proclamation of King Edward VII's ascension to the throne in 1901 has been uncovered in a Devon church.

The faded photograph was found by a parishioner of St Thomas Church in Exeter, where it had been gathering dust at the back of the building.

It shows the mayor and town clerk outside Exeter Guildhall reading the proclamation surrounded by dignitaries.

The picture has been restored by Exeter photographer and author, Peter Thomas.

It is believed the hand-coloured picture was specially commissioned for the event, on 22 January 1901, and has remained in the church since then.

'Visual heritage'

"There was a real concern that the print may deteriorate further or could even be lost," Mr Thomas said.

"The unusual aspect was that it is an outside study and probably the only record of this event - the proclamation of Edward VII in 1901.

"It was obvious this was part of the city's visual heritage and should be saved."

Mr Thomas has digitally restored the faded print and had a copy professionally printed which will hang in the church, while the original picture will go to the West Country Studies Library.

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