The Article „Lingering between Tradition and Innovation: Photographic Portraits of Empress Dowager Cixi“ (link) describes how Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty was advised to have her portrait painted as a means of counteracting negative publicity in the West. It assumes, that
European royal portraiture was highly publicized and worked as the connecting knot between the ruler/sitter and subject/viewer.
Being accustomed to Byzantine portraiture, I saw no reason to question this notion, but my colleagues are highly sceptical thereof.
So I am interested in Queen Victoria as an oft painted Western monarch who is roughly contemporary to Cixi.
Were Queen Victoria’s portraits widely publicised, except on stamps and coins?“
But this article showing many portraits maintains:
Queen Victoria was the most photographed and painted monarch to have ever lived (at that time). A fiercely intelligent woman who acknowledged that her image was instrumental to her relationship with the public, some argued that she was the first royal to grasp the camera's potential power as a 'political weapon'. It is likely that she regarded painting in the same way.
So, were any of her (non-stamp, non-money) portraits widely publicised?
For example at great exhibitions like the one of 1850? I am yet to find concrete information.