1907 Rudge-Whitworth Tricycle: No 31 for Ladies


RUDGE-WHITWORTH TRICYCLES: AS RIDDEN BY HRH PRINCESS BEATRICE

These tricycles have long been recognised as the most satisfactory and easy running in the market. There is a steadily increasing demand for them, which has enabled us to introduce important improvements and still to make a substantial reduction in the price. Tricycles are strongly recommend for nervous or elderly riders, to whom they present the enormous advantage over the bicycle of being absolutely incapable of sideslip.

– 1909 Rudge-Whitworth catalogue description

Along with Premier and Humber, Rudge-Whitworth was one of the few cycle companies to enjoy royal patronage. The Royal Family had been keen supporters of the British cycle industry since Queen Victoria purchased several tricycles in 1881. Though there are no reports of her riding a tricycle herself, as a result tricycles became fashionable for ladies to ride around Hyde Park.

With the advent of the safety bicycle, the young royals took up cycling too. Princess Beatrice (1884 –1966) rode this model of tricycle. Called ‘Baby Bee’ by her family, she was Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter. Beatrice later married into the Spanish Royal Family. Her husband was Alfonso de Orleans y Borbon, a first cousin of King Alfonso XII.

PRINCESS BEATRICE

1907 Rudge-Whitworth Tricycle: No 31 for Ladies

19.5″ Frame

28″ Front Wheel

26″ Rear Wheels

Frame No 429860

…as RIDDEN BY HRH PRINCESS BEATRICE

On this example, the front wheel and saddle have been replaced, the chain is a bit worn and the paint has been touched up, but otherwise this 111-year-old machine is a great survivor and is ready to ride.

Rudge-Whitworth recommended the tricycle for nervous or elderly riders. These days their appreciation has spread beyond those of a nervous disposition, a tricycle being an interesting model variation and rarer than the two-wheeled equivalent.

1909 RUDGE-WHITWORTH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1909 RUDGE-WHITWORTH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CYCLING MAGAZINE, 27th May, 1908:

‘WELL-KNOWN ACTRESSES WHO CYCLE’