England has a wonderful history of eyewear and sunglasses. We recently interviewed two English rock stars with long family histories of creating eyewear for our podcasts, Claire Goldsmith and Jason Kirk. We’ve seen many a photo of the royals wearing sunglasses, including Queen Elizabeth.
The Museum of Modern Art recently came across footage of Queen Victoria from 1900 wearing sunglasses in Ireland. In the video, the long-reigning monarch can be seen smiling and nodding while wearing sunglasses. They might not be quite as cool or block as much harmful UV as the sunglasses worn by her great-great-granddaughter, but to us, they are very cool.
The British Film Institute has a free library of Victorian film, and you can see more of MoMA’s archives here.
Thank you to MoMA and the BBC