Kelly Lynch of The Duchess Diary celebrates the royal reign with a look at a real royal holiday home... There are the obvious properties associated with Queen Victoria – Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace in London. However, maybe you didn’t know there's a property on Southern England’s Isle of Wight that the royal couple purchased and revamped to their liking in the late 1800s.
Osborne House was considered Victoria and Albert's seaside retreat on this sunny holiday island, not far off the south coast of England. Albert decided to tear down the original structure in 1848, and drew inspiration from the Bay of Naples in Italy to build his Queen a place where they could escape the rigours of royal life.
Victoria loved to take a dip in the sea, and used her own private bathing machine to change for the beach. The cabin on wheels was rolled down to the water’s edge and had a door on either side. This way, Victoria could emerge directly into the sea in her swimming costume, modesty preserved and all.
Osborne House (and the bathing machine) is open to visitors, so you can tour the rooms and stroll through the gorgeous gardens down to the very same beach. This is yet another fantastic reason to visit Great Britain. "It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" Victoria said of Osborne House, where she took her final breath in 1901.