Osborne House & Park, Isle of Wight - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Prince Albert designed the house himself in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The builder was Thomas Cubitt, the London architect and builder whose company built the main façade of Buckingham Palace for the royal couple in 1847.
Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in January 1901. Following her death, the house became surplus to royal requirements and was given to the state, with a few rooms being retained as a private museum to Queen Victoria. From 1903 until 1921 it was used as a junior officer training college for the Royal Navy, known as the Royal Naval College, Osborne.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House on the Isle of Wight from Lady Isabella Blachford in October 1845. They wanted a home removed from the stresses of court life. Queen Victoria had spent two holidays on the Isle of Wight as a young girl, when her mother, the then Duchess of Kent, rented Norris Castle. The setting of the 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.
The couple paid for much of the new house's furnishings by the sale of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.
The house's original square wing was known as 'The Pavilion,' containing the principal and royal apartments on the ground and first floors, respectively. The principal apartments, particularly, hold reminders of Victoria's dynastic links with the other European royal families. The Billiard Room holds a massive porcelain vase that was a gift of the Russian Tsar.
The final addition to the house was a wing built between 1890 and 1891. This wing was designed by John Lockwood Kipling, father of the poet Rudyard Kipling. On the ground floor, it includes the famous Durbar Room, named after an anglicised version of the Hindi word durbar, meaning court. The Durbar Room was built for state functions; it was decorated by Bhai Ram Singh in an elaborate and intricate style, and has a carpet from Agra.
Osborne House expresses numerous associations with the British Raj and India, housing a collection of paintings of Indian persons and scenes, painted at Queen Victoria's request by Rudolf Swoboda.
In December 1861, Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle. During her long widowhood, Queen Victoria continued to visit Osborne House as one of her favourite homes.
In 1876, as a tribute to Queen Victoria, the Government House of the colony (now State) of Victoria, Australia, was constructed as a copy of Osborne House.