The Queen's great-great-grandmother's seaside mansion was locked up for 50 years – inside

Queen Victoria passed away at the property in 1901

Bridie Wilkins

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased their holiday home, Osborne House, in 1845 and the monarch went on to visit the property until her death in 1901.

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Despite Victoria's wishes, King Edward gave the home to the state, and part of the grounds became the Royal Navy College, Osborne until 1921. But several parts of the home remained private until 1954 when Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for Victoria and Albert's rooms to be opened to the public. 

Located in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the royal residence boasted its own private beach, a museum, a chapel, a Swiss lodge for the children, and interiors inspired by Albert's love for Naples in Italy. Take a tour inside the Queen's great-great-grandmother's seaside mansion, which she said was "impossible to imagine a prettier spot".

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The Swiss Cottage


An Alpine-style chalet known as the Swiss Cottage was built for the royal children in 1854 to help them learn about domestic life, including how to cook, harvest produce and entertain. It has a balcony running around the upper level where the Duchess of Cornwall and Judi Dench were pictured in 2018.

Inside, it has its own kitchen and pantry with pots, pans and crockery, as well as a dining room with a wooden table and chairs and wall hangings.

The drawing room


The Grade II-listed property is designed with ornate furniture and fine art. The drawing room follows a yellow colour scheme, with duchess satin sofas and armchairs, and matching curtains. There are grand high ceilings with several marble plinths, and the ceiling is decorated with intricate carvings of gold.

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At the far end of the room, there is a wooden antique grand piano with two stools. A bookcase sits in one corner, and there are various paintings and photographs hanging in gold frames on the walls.


There is a circular coffee table in the room with a glass top, and two enormous jewelled chandeliers amplify the majestic aesthetic.

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The dressing room


Queen Victoria's dressing room was painted pale pink. There are brown and cream floral carpets, and wooden furniture including a dressing table positioned in front of a large sash window with floral curtains, a matching stool, and a chest of drawers in one corner. Victoria positioned a large mirror above a white log fireplace.

The sitting room


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's sitting room features the same carpets as seen in Victoria's dressing room. The walls are painted canary yellow, and there are three floor-to-ceiling sash windows with cream and red floral curtains. Victoria kept several paintings and artefacts arranged on a long wooden table and a separate circular table.

The second sitting room


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert also had a second sitting room inside Osborne House. This one features olive green walls with red floral carpets, and a small circular table in the middle of the room with green chairs positioned at either side.

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The bedroom


Queen Victoria's bedroom featured a canopy bed with floral curtains at either side. It has a green headboard and a wooden frame, and a floral chaise longue sits at the end of the bed. There are also two matching floral armchairs, and a white log fireplace at one side.  


Prince Albert's room, pictured in 1954, features a patterned carpet, a desk topped with books and a wooden side table with lots of paintings hanging on the wall above. After the royal passed away in 1861 followed by the monarch in 1901, the room remained largely untouched. 

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