Inside the incredibly unusual royal palace King Charles has never lived in

Inside the incredibly unusual royal palace King Charles has never lived in

Across the centuries, the Royal Family have owned many properties across the UK. We know the most famous ones well as they are now home to the current generation of royals, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but others are often forgotten.

While the lesser known locations are still in regular use, either as second homes or holiday destinations, a number of them have been sold off or repurposed into everything from restaurants to museums.

One such home is Osborne House on the Isle of Wight despite its impressive royal connections and the fact that it was a favourite home of Queen Victoria.

Even though the late Queen never visited Osborne publicly, other royals, such as Queen Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, have spent time there to soak in the history.

Osborne House was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in East Cowes, Isle of Wight.

It was built in an Italian Renaissance style by Thomas Cubitt, which gives it a unique look very different to other royal properties. The master builder was responsible for creating the famous East Front and balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Albert is said to have contributed heavily to the home’s design and enjoyed looking out across the Solent as it reminded him of the Bay of Naples.

Queen Victoria herself said of Osborne: "It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot."

The Royal Family would stay at Osborne for long periods of time every year – in May for Queen Victoria’s birthday, in July and August for the celebration of Prince Albert’s birthday and just before Christmas.

After the sad death of Prince Albert in 1861 from Typhoid Fever, Queen Victoria continued to visit the home for longer periods and more frequently as it was one of her favourite residences.

It was where she passed away on January 22, 1901. Following her death, her successor and son, King Edward VII donated Osborne House as a national gift to the state on the date of his coronation on August 9, 1902.

This was done even though Queen Victoria had left strict instruction for Osborne to remain within the family.

The palatial home is no longer an active royal residence, it is a museum which belongs to English Heritage and is open to the public.

If you wish to visit the home, you can expect to see some of the most precious treasures from the royal collection and will have the opportunity to see the state rooms, family rooms, Queen Victoria's private beach, the incredible gardens and Swiss Cottage – the playhouse of Victoria and Albert's nine children.

Memorable visits in recent years include the time Camilla toured the house and the grounds with Dame Judi Dench, who had at the time recently portrayed the famous Queen in her later years in the film Victoria and Abdul. The actress previously played the monarch in Mrs Brown in 1997.

The nearby village of Whippingham was also key for the Royal Family as Queen Victoria and her relatives would travel to St Mildred's Church for services.

As well as this, a handful of notable royals are buried in the graveyard there, including King Charles' paternal great-grandmother, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine.

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