♔Osborne House-Queen Victoria’s Favourite Home

Osborne House was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s private home on the Isle of Wight that lies off the south coast of England. It is separated from the mainland by a deep strait known as The Solent
Osbourne-House-aerial-View

Osbourne-House-aerial-View

‘It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot,’ wrote the Queen after a visit to Osborne House. In 1845 the royal couple purchased the property with an estate of 342 acres, along with the adjacent Barton Manor to house equerries and grooms and to serve as the home farm.
download

The Spectacular Osborne House, East Cowes, Isle of Wight

Osborne was built specifically for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and its architecture and furnishings reflect the royal couples passions, taste and style. Their aim was to create a private home away from court life in London and Windsor and to provide a retreat reflecting a more ‘normal’ experience for their growing family.
1000_1000_scaled_1825927_osborne-hous-20160721012757769

The exquisite pair of Italianate Towers that dominate the landscape

Prince Albert commissioned Thomas Cubitt – a master builder who developed much of Belgravia, Pimlico and Bloomsbury, in central London to advise him on the best way to improve the house and grounds. Cubitt recommended demolishing the old house and building a new house more suited to their needs. Along with Prince Albert, Cubitt designed the more appropriate building that can be seen today, which was finally completed in 1851.
Osborne-House-gardens-

The garden terraces- the views across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples.

The newly restored Durbar Room, was designed by Rudyard Kipling’s father, John Lockwood, and master carver Bhai Ram Singh. With its wonderfully intricate Indian-inspired carved white plaster ceilings and walls, this room is a prestigious setting for dining amid a glittering collection of treasures given to Queen Victoria.

durbar-room-Indian-style plaster work

Durbar-room Indian-style plaster work- English Heritage

The spectacular banqueting table is a stunning centrepiece and seats up to 24 guests. The room was the venue for ceremonial dinners for European royalty and the backdrop to Queen Victoria’s favourite theatrical entertainments- reflecting Queen Victoria’s status as Empress of India.Durbar-Room

It was here using the Durbar Room and the extensive grounds at Osborne that the motion picture Victoria & Abdul was filmed.
Judy Dench patron of the Friends of Osborne House

Judy Dench, with Camilla on a recent visit to the newly restored Durbar Room July 2018

The interiors of Osborne House abound with opulence in both architectural design and decoration, including the splendidly decorated library; a masterpiece designed by Robert Adam.
statues-and-corridor

Statues & Corridor inside Osborne House

Marble sculptures, commissioned by Victoria and Albert, line the classically designed Grand Corridor of the house and recall the royal couple’s love of the arts. Works by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Turner and Vermeer hang on a background of opulent interior decor. Portraits and frescos adorn the walls, serving as a reminder of the family’s links to the crowned heads of Europe, and of the unrivalled supremacy of the British Empire at that time.
south corridors

An image of The Grand Corridor looking south, during Queen Victoria’s reign

The Audience Room, with its array of sumptuous original furnishings, was where the ministers of the Privy Council gathered before their meetings with the queen in the Council Room.
osborne-staterooms

Osborne-state Rooms- with marble pillars and gold fabric covered furniture

The Swiss Cottage situated within the grounds about a mile or so to the east of the house, was built for the royal children between 1853-54. Here The family could ‘escape’ and live a ‘normal life’, where the children could play, learn to cook and grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers. In 2014 The Swiss Cottage was restored and re-presented as a child/family friendly educational resource.
osborne_house-cottage

The Swiss Cottage

Queen Victoria’s Private Beach

In 2012 Queen Victoria’s private beach was opened to the public. “We have quite a charming beach to ourselves,” Victoria wrote in 1845 and it was here that the Queen regularly bathed, and where her children learned to swim.

The beach was said to be the deciding factor behind Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s decision to buy Osborne House.

dame-judi-dench-and-camilla-duchess-of-cornwall-on-queen-news-photo-1004472462-1532439002

Judi-Dench-and-Camilla-duchess-of-Cornwall on Osborne beach July 2018|Chris Jackson

An original wooden bathing machine used by queen Victoria has been returned to the beach. It ran down a ramp into the sea and from there,Queen Victoria would emerge in her swimming suit with her modesty preserved. Not surprisingly it was more ornate than most of those used by aristocratic women in the 19th Century- it even has a plumbed-in loo as well as a changing room with a veranda and curtains!

Di4YPLzXgAAUykx

Judy Dench & The Duchess of Cornwall enjoy ice cream on the beach at Osborne- July 2018

Queen Victoria used Osborne for more than 50 years as a place where she could entertain foreign royalty and visiting ministers as well as enjoy her own extensive family.

Friends of Osborne House

Dame Judi Dench became the first Patron of the Friends of Osborne House, after having spent Summer 2016 at Osborne filming ‘Victoria and Abdul‘, Dame Judi quickly accepted the invitation to become Patron and wrote:
We had a wonderful Time filmimg at Osborne and everyone there was absolutely wonderful. I am delighted to continue this association.”

The money raised by the Friends of Osborne is used to support English Heritage’s commitment to maintain Osborne House for the Nation. In 2015 the Friends became a registered charity. Since 1987 the Friends and its predecessor organisation have helped English Heritage with many renovation projects to the House and grounds as well as for educational projects.

Victoria & Abdul:  The extensive grounds and rooms at Osborne House were used for the motion picture Victoria & Abdul -The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule.

Osborne House is cared for by English Heritage and is open to the public year round.

Advertisements

Leave Your Comment Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.