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osbornehouseresizedEnglish Heritage has launched a £1.65m major conservation and re-interpretation project at Osborne, the private seaside home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

Due to open in April 2014 and made possible by a grant of £776,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Garfield Weston Foundation and other donors, the project will reveal the hidden world of royal childhood at Osborne’s Swiss Cottage for the first time.

The project will involve vital conservation work to structure of Swiss Cottage,the re-opening of historic rooms on the ground floor, revealing long hidden interior decoration and a new interactive exhibition, introducing the royal children and their adventures.

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punchjudyosborneConservation of the Museum’s collection of 3,000 objects from all over the world will also be secured as well as the rooms in the Cottage that will show how the royal children cooked and laid the table for teatime. A new children’s play area will also be opened and a new nature trail along the restored Rhododendron walk to the beach.

The Swiss Cottage was a full size ‘wendy’ house, built at Prince Albert’s instruction in the grounds of the Osborne estate. It was the domain of the nine royal children, where they played at being adults and learnt the life skills that their father believed would make them better people and better rulers.

Now, unprecedented use of the children’s letters, diaries and paintings will enable English Heritage to reveal their intimate stories in their own words, giving 21st century families the chance to experience this unique childhood for themselves.

The Swiss Cottage is currently closed while the work takes place and is due to open in April 2014.

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