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Osborne House Private Apartments (Opening)

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I will make a statement about Osborne House.

On the occasion of King Edward VII's Coronation and by reason of the Osborne Estate Act, 1902, Osborne House, in the Isle of Wight, became part of the public property of the Crown to be administered by the Ministry of Works. The Act directed that the House should be used as a memorial of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. Since that date certain rooms which had been in the personal occupation of Queen Victoria, including that in which she died, have been maintained exactly as they were and never shown to visitors.

This year marks the jubilee of the opening of the House and Her Majesty the Queen has commanded that these rooms should now be open to the public. Her Majesty has also offered on permanent loan the furnishings and works of art which are lodged in Osborne House or in the Swiss Cottage and Museum. These objects are to remain permanently at Osborne and I shall have the duty and charge of maintaining and administering the collection in the interests of the visiting public and of the patients of the King Edward VII Convalescent Home.

I have had the honour to accept Her Majesty's gracious offer. It is hoped that the private apartments can be opened to the public early next year.