Queen Victoria’s Swiss Cottage

Queen Victoria’s Swiss Cottage

The Isle of Wight — have you heard of it? It’s England’s largest island, located south of the mainland in the English Channel.

Isle of WightHere you go — I’ll make it easier. The Isle of Wight is shown in red.

Anyway, on this island, you’ll find Osborne House — summer home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Osborne House

photo Loz Pycock, Creative Commons

And on the grounds of Osborne House, you’ll find the Swiss Cottage, built for Victoria and Albert’s nine children to play in (because, of course, Osborne House might be a bit small for all those children. Just kidding — what child wouldn’t love a Swiss cottage on the grounds to play in?)

Swiss Cottage. Swiss Cottage is the play house built for Queen Victoria's children within the grounds of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

photo by Tony Grant, Creative commons

If the cottage truly looks Swiss, that’s because it is. It was dismantled in Switzerland and brought to the Isle of Wight, where it was reassembled for the children in 1854. Albert had been raised in Germany with a Swiss Chalet, and he wanted one for his children as well. He and Victoria also wanted to use the cottage to teach the children “real world” skills that would keep them grounded despite their royal status. The kids learned to cook inside the cottage, which had a fully-functioning kitchen. They were also encouraged to garden the land around  the cottage. Each child was assigned a plot in which to grow flowers and vegetables, which they sold to their father, Prince Albert. He used this to teach the children about economics.

Recently, the Swiss Cottage has been renovated. It reopened to the public April 1. The Queen’s youngest son, Edward, and his wife Sophie attended the reopening ceremony.

Queen Victoria tea party at Osborne House

photo, public domain

Here see Queen Victoria (center) and other royals at a tea party on the grounds at Osborne House. After Albert died, Victoria always wore black.

4 thoughts on “Queen Victoria’s Swiss Cottage

  1. Slowly you are unfolding the world for me, bit by bit. I had never heard of this Swiss Cottage before. It sounds like the royals keep one foot in reality.

  2. Excellent!! The Swiss Cottage is one of my favorite royal “residences”–right up there with Queen Mary’s Doll House and Queen Elizabeth’s little thatched cottage. Great piece.

    FYI: Victoria’s great-grandsons, Edward VIII, George V and George, Duke of Kent and Prince Louis of Battenberg (later Earl Mountbatten) all attended junior secondary school at Osborne–the stables and a few other buildings became the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Edward Vii, sadly, had no found memories of Osborne and it ceased to be a royal residence upon Victoria’s Death.

  3. This is all news to me, too. BTW, are you going to write anything about the death of Prince Charles’ brother-in-law? Would that be Camilla’s brother?

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.