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Flowers on Durbar Room table copyQueen Victoria’s Durbar room at Osborne House has re-opened for the new season after conservation work to return this grand space to its original use as the banqueting hall of her Isle of Wight home.

Inspired by photographs from the 1890s, English Heritage curators have replaced the display cases which dominated the middle of the room with a formal dining table and balloon backed dining chairs, to the specifications of the Victorian originals. The table is set for dinner and adorned with a magnificent centrepiece consisting of lush greenery, pineapples and flowers. New interpretation will help visitors step into the grandeur of court life and understand Queen Victoria’s relationship with the Empire in her home’s Indian wing.

The room’s elaborate plaster ceiling, designed by Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard and inspired by 16th Century North Indian architecture, has been cleaned and conserved as has the stunning carpet. To complete the opulent picture, an intricately crafted peacock, originally taking 500 hours to produce, stands proud over the chimneypiece.

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osbornehouseresizedVisitors will also be able to admire a collection of decorative objects from the sub-continent, predominantly gifts, commemorating Queen Victoria’s golden and diamond jubilees of 1887 and 1897. New displays will give kids the chance to get hands-on.

Osborne; the house, gardens, Swiss Cottage and beach is now open seven days a week until November 2015. Admission prices are £14.30 adult/£8.60 child/£12.90 concession/ £37.20 family (2 adults and 3 children). For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/osborne.

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