The Holiday Homes of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert held court at their official residences, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. However, during the early years of their marriage they yearned for private retreats where they could enjoy family life. The royal couple would go on to acquire estates at Osborne, East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and at Balmoral, Aberdeenshire in Scotland.
Prince Albert would take a hand in developing suitable houses for the time they would spend in each of these special places—Osborne built between 1845-1851 and designed in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo, and Balmoral completed in 1856 in the Scots Baronial style. Both properties became central to their lives and much loved holiday homes, each providing, in different ways, much needed relief from the intense pressures of court life in and near the capital.
Osborne became a monument to their marriage and Balmoral a remote and very Scottish seasonal home. The latter is still much enjoyed by the royal family today. Ian Cox’s lecture will explore the history, development and significance of both of these fascinating royal residences.