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The most famous and beautiful dolls' house in the world

Planning the house

Miniature portrait of Sir Edwin Lutyens commissioned for the Library in Queen Mary's Dolls' House (RCIN 927333) ©

The house was the concept of Princess Marie Louise, cousin to King George V and childhood friend of Queen Mary. She decided that the queen, who loved all things diminutive and decorative, would enjoy the house and it was to become a gift to Queen Mary in the years after the First World War. The architect was Sir Edwin Lutyens, a friend of the princess. Between them, they created a committee that decided on the style of the house and ensured that all its contents were of the highest possible quality and all perfectly to scale.

The committee decided that the house should be a collaborative venture with the cost and labour to be divided between as many people as possible. In order to get contributors on board, Lutyens held regular 'Dolleluiah Dinners' at the Savoy. These events proved successful and the completed house was the product of 250 craftsmen and manufacturers, 60 artist-decorators, 700 artists, 600 writers and 500 donors (many still household names today).

The house was to be shown at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and the committee determined that the house be a showcase for British workmanship. As such, the contents of the house were created by craftsmen from all over the country, showing off the best arts and crafts of the day. The house was displayed at Wembley for seven months and over this period more than 1.5 million people visited it. In July 1925 it was moved to Windsor Castle, where it was situated in a room designed by Lutyens and where it can be visited today.

Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944)

Queen Mary's Dolls' House

After Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944)

First Floor Plan: Queen Mary's Doll House