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Celebrations at Windsor Castle mark 100 years of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House

Release date: Thursday 18 January 2024

2024 marks 100 years of Queen Mary's Dolls' House©
Throughout 2024, Royal Collection Trust will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House at Windsor Castle, the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world.

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House was built between 1921 and 1924 as a gift from the nation to Queen Mary following the First World War. It is a perfect 1:12 scale replica of an Edwardian residence, complete with electricity, working lifts and running water.

Its scaled-down rooms range from a fully stocked wine cellar and ‘below-stairs’ spaces to grand entertaining salons, and feature contributions from over 1,500 artists, craftspeople, and manufacturers of the day. 

This year, visitors to the Castle will see a special centenary display of items usually contained within the Dolls’ House, staged in the Waterloo Chamber. These range from a tiny concert grand piano to miniature Crown Jewels. Items from the kitchens and servants’ quarters include a vacuum cleaner, a sewing machine, and a copper kettle made from a coin, with the King’s head still visible on its base. The display, open from Thursday, 18 January, allows visitors to get even closer to these tiny treasures and appreciate the extraordinary attention to detail on every miniature item.

The room at Windsor Castle that was created to house the Dolls’ House almost 100 years ago has also been re-presented to mark the anniversary. Designed by the house’s architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, it features murals which have been expertly restored and re-lit.

A special area of our website will allow as many people as possible around the world to discover the house’s miniature marvels. For the first time, the house has been filmed from a ‘dolls’ eye view’ perspective, giving viewers the chance to explore the Dolls’ House in closer detail than ever before.

One of the great wonders of the Dolls’ House is its Library, which captured the literary culture of the 1920s through miniature books penned by the era’s foremost writers, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Vita Sackville-West to A. A. Milne and Thomas Hardy. The new publication The Miniature Library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House by Elizabeth Clark Ashby, now available, explores the stories behind the creation of the Dolls’ House Library. The book joins a new souvenir range that is available in Royal Collection Trust’s shops.

Anniversary activities throughout the year will include a Dolls’ House-themed family trail for visitors to Windsor Castle, family activities during the Easter holidays, an evening online event in April, as well as courses in collaboration with the Royal School of Needlework.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.