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Victoria and Albert Edit
Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert bought Osborne House on the Isle of Wight in October 1845. The setting of the existing three storey Georgian house appealed to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; in particular, the views of the Solent reminded Albert of the Bay of Naples in Italy. It soon became obvious that it was too small for their needs. Pulling down the house and building anew was deemed to be the appropriate course of action.
The current Osborne House was built in the style of the Italian Renaissance between 1845 and 1851. Prince Albert designed the house himself in conjunction with architect Thomas Cubitt whose company also built the main façade of Buckingham Palace. Osborne House was a real home for the royal family. They stayed there for lengthy periods each year: in the Spring for Victoria's birthday in May; in July and August when they celebrated Albert's birthday; and just before Christmas.
Sadly the domestic idyll at Osborne was not to continue. In December 1861, Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle. In spite of his passing, Osborne House continued as one of Queen Victoria's favourite homes. As a widow, Victoria went into impenetrable mourning. She retreated to Windsor and Osborne with her memories. Queen Victoria died at Osborne on 22 January 1901. The new King Edward VII presented it to the nation.
After Victoria Edit
Immediately following the death of Queen Victoria, the royal apartments on the upper floors of the pavilion wing were turned into a private museum for the sole use of the royal family. They remained completely as she had left them. Part of the ground floor was opened to the public early in the 20th century, and in 1954 Victoria's bedroom and private apartments could be seen by the public for the first time, followed by the nurseries in 1989.
Between 1903 and 1921, part of the estate was used as junior officer training college for the Royal Navy known as the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Boys aged 13 to 15 were educated at Osborne before moving to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
Obsorne House today Edit
Royal household Edit
Security for the Royal household is provided by 56 (Guards) Brigade.