To celebrate the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert (Franz August Karl Albert Emanuel), English Heritage is inviting anyone who shares his name (any of them!) to visit Osborne for free today (26 August).
Born in Saxe-Coburg Germany on 26 August 1819, Albert was introduced to Victoria by his uncle Leopold in 1836 – they married in February 1840.
In 1845, looking for an escape from court life, the couple bought Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and with the help of Thomas Cubitt, Albert had the Georgian house demolished and set about building a modern private retreat for his family.
Today his influence can be seen everywhere from the Italianate architecture to the adoption of the latest technologies such as running water to upstairs bathrooms, to the design of the terraces and gardens which he directed in detail from the roof of the house.
English Heritage curator at Osborne, Michael Hunter said:
“Prince Albert had indefatigable energy and ideas, which he channelled into creating Osborne for Queen Victoria and his children. Everywhere you look at Osborne today it’s a celebration of this remarkable man. So we thought it apt that we should celebrate his 200th birthday by inviting those who share his name to visit his home – on us!”
Prince Albert frequently spent his birthday at Osborne during his married life – as did Queen Victoria who was born in the same year on 24 May 1819.
Albert’s birthday was usually marked with a fête in the grounds for all the workers on the estate, with activities including a grand tea, a band, dancing, and games such as blind man’s bluff, sack races and bobbing for oranges.
Visitors to Osborne called any of the names: Franz August Karl Albert Emanuel– as a first name or surname may gain free admission to Osborne on 26th August 2019.
Photo ID must be shown. Admission charges are applicable for accompanying friends and family.
Osborne House, gardens, Swiss Cottage and beach are open daily 10am – 6pm.