The Swiss Cottage at Osborne House, where English Heritage is to carry out a major restoration.
A £1.65 million conservation project has been launched at Osborne, the private seaside home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Due to open in April and made possible by a grant of £776,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Garfield Weston Foundation and other donors; the project promises to reveal the hidden world of royal childhood at Osborne’s Swiss Cottage for the first time, according to English Heritage.
The project will involve:
•Vital conservation work to the structure of Swiss Cottage.
•The re-opening of historic rooms on the ground floor, revealing long hidden interior decoration.
•A new interactive exhibition, introducing the royal children and their adventures.
•Conservation of the museum’s collection of 3,000 objects from all over the world.
•The rooms in the cottage will show how the royal children cooked and laid the table for teatime.
•Conversion of the 'Gazelle house’ — formerly home to the children’s three gazelles — and conservation into a new cake shop.
•Installation of a new children’s play area inspired by the Fort and Swiss Cottage.
•A new nature trail along the restored Rhododendron walk to the beach.
•New education and volunteering programmes.
The Swiss Cottage was a full size 'Wendy’ house, built at Prince Albert’s instruction in the grounds of the Osborne estate.
It was the domain of the nine royal children, where they played at being adults and learnt the life skills that their father believed would make them better people and better rulers.
Vicky, Bertie Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold and Beatrice escaped there as much possible when at Osborne for their summer holidays and to celebrate birthdays, and later most of them brought their own children back to play.