In 1844, King Louis-Philippe commissioned this extensive service for the Château d'Eu. The exuberant floral pattern was specifically designed to complement the stress-free atmosphere and resplendent beauty of the country gardens and grounds at his favored summer residence. Likewise, the trophies at the border purposefully allude to the leisure pursuits of the court during the summer months in the Normandy countryside.
In the late summer of 1843, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed with the French Royal family at Château d'Eu. This was the first visit to France made by an English monarch since Henry VIII's disastrous confrontation with Francis I at the 'Field of Cloth and Gold'. The splendid but relaxed atmosphere of the château ensured that Victoria and Albert greatly enjoyed their stay as recorded in her journal.
A second royal and diplomatically successful visit to Château d'Eu followed in 1845. These informal and friendly meetings between the British and French Royal families were crucial in the general warming of Anglo-French relations in the second half of the 19th Century. As the first delivery of this royal service would have been extant at the time of Queen Victoria's second visit, she and her entourage were likely among the first to be served.
For further examples in the Musée Nationale de la Cèramique at Sèvres, see Pierre Verlet et al, Sèvres, France, 1954, pl. 127; and T. Préaud, exhibition catalogue, Sèvres Porcelain, Sèvres, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, 1980, pp. 56, 57 and 86, no. 34.