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Osborne House

Victoria and Albert built Osborne House on the Isle of Wight between 1845 and 1851 to provide space and privacy for their young family. Prince Albert was heavily involved in the design of the residence, in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The queen described Osborne as ʻa little Paradise’: it offered fresh sea air, sunshine, and an ideal starting point for tours on the royal yacht. The family frequently visited Osborne during the spring and summer months, and enjoyed activities such as flying kites and planting trees together.


Victoria’s watercolour tutor, the Scottish artist William Leighton Leitch, painted many watercolours of life at Osborne for Victoria and Albert’s watercolour albums, some of which document the building of their new home.

Charlotte Canning, Viscountess Canning (1817-61)

The view from the unfinished terrace, Osborne House

William Leighton Leitch (1804-83)

Osborne House under construction

James Roberts (c. 1800-67)

The Marble Corridor, Osborne House

William Leighton Leitch (1804-83)

The Swiss Cottage, Osborne House

William Leighton Leitch (1804-83)

Osborne House from below the terrace