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An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in

Their history, form and function

After Matthew Cotes Wyatt (1777-1862)

A Jubilee at Frogmore c.1809

RCIN 700895

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Queen Charlotte’s garden at Frogmore was the setting for numerous fêtes or entertainments. In 1809, James Wyatt’s son, Matthew Cotes Wyatt, recorded the Jubilee fête, which was reproduced in this print. The view is from the garden front of Frogmore House, looking towards the lake which was host to a water pageant celebrating the triumph of Britannia. Princess Elizabeth was responsible for designing the temple, a temporary structure, which was constructed by James Wyatt on one of the islands in the lake. The temple contained a portrait of George III, whose increasing ill-health prevented his attendance. Almost 1200 people attended the festivities, which included fireworks, illuminations and an ‘elegant supper’.

After the death of Queen Charlotte, the house was inherited by her daughter Princess Augusta who continued to maintain the gardens. The Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria’s mother, had a small temple built in the grounds which became her Mausoleum, and after Prince Albert’s death (also in 1861), Queen Victoria had a Royal Mausoleum built for him nearby. Queen Mary took an active role in redesigning the gardens at the end of the First World War, removing some trees and plants and introducing 200,000 bulbs and many flowering trees, shrubs and grasses. The donation of trees and shrubs at the time of Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 resulted in new planting at Frogmore which continues to mature in the Georgian landscape.