England, Cowes Guide (B): Osborne: the Home That Albert Created for Victoria
Victoria was Queen of England and Albert was her Prince Consort when they decided they needed a home for their large family away from public eye. Their search took them to the Isle of Wight a place that Victoria already knew and liked. Improved railway communications meant it was possible to travel between London and the island in four hours. It was here they found the Osborne estate perched on a hill on the outskirts of Cowes with parkland rolling down to a private beach. Victoria wrote ‘it is impossible to to imagine a prettier spot – we have a charming beach quite to ourselves – we can walk anywhere without being followed or mobbed. However, the house on this estate was considered to be too small for their growing family. So, it was decided that a new house should be built. This was Albert’s opportunity to indulge in some of his passions, architecture and landscape gardening being just two of them. In 1845 the Queen bought the estate using her privy purse and Thomas Cubit, the London builder and creator of entire suburbs was engaged to replace the existing house with one built specifically for the Royal Family. Its Italianate design, an inspiration of Albert’s, came known as the Osborne style which was imitated throughout the British Empire. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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