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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

William Leighton Leitch (1804-83)

The Swiss Cottage, Osborne House drawn 1855

RCIN 919867

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Between 1853 and 1854, a Swiss Cottage was built in the grounds of Osborne House on the instruction of Prince Albert. The Swiss Cottage was a place where the couple’s children could play at adult life, undertaking everyday activities such as cooking, sewing and gardening. Each child was given a plot of land in the cottage’s garden where they were encouraged to grow and sell fruit, vegetables and flowers. A number of the tools used by the children to work in the garden can be found in the Royal Collection today, including rakes and wheelbarrows (RCINs 34860 and 42998).