History from across the centuries, Royalty from the 21st

Fri 16th November, 2018
 

Queen Victoria’s mausoleum at Frogmore to reopen for the visiting public

Queen Victoria’s mausoleum at Frogmore, Windsor, is to be restored so that it might, once more, be open to the public.

The Royal Mausoleum houses the tomb and remains of Queen Victoria – now the second-longest serving British Monarch in history – and her husband Prince Albert. It closed in 2007 after the Grade I-listed building was declared structurally unsound due to flooding.

the royal mausoleum at frogmore is the final resting place of queen victoria and prince albert. (karen roe)

Buckingham Palace is now undertaking significant works to preserve and restore The Queen’s great-great-grandmother’s resting place; a Public Accounts Commission hearing in 2009, chaired by MP, Sir Edward Leigh, noted the funding should be made available for such a historically-important job.

The mausoleum is shaped in the form of a Greek cross with an Italian Romanesque design; the interior mimics Prince Albert’s favourite painter, Raphael.

Queen Victoria had the grand resting place created by Ludwig Gruner of Dresden, an art advisor to the Royal Household, following the death of Prince Albert in 1862. It was also to be her tomb in 1901. Two marble effigies of the royal couple, designed by Italian sculptor Baron Carlo Marochetti, were placed above their tomb.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Alice, the couple’s daughter, and their granddaughter, Princess May were also laid to rest there, with a memorial to Victoria’s father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who died in 1820 when his daughter was just eight months old.

It is located in the gardens of Frogmore House, which was built for George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte; this is also where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their engagement photos taken. While no longer a royal residence, the Royal Family do occasionally use the house for official receptions and dinners.

Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, wrote to Buckingham Palace last month noting that Frogmore Mausoleum is “the resting place of one of Britain’s greatest and longest-reigning monarchs” and a “building of great historical significance.”

The mausoleum is currently being dried out to enable other works to take place, and prevent further damage. Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, noted in his reply to Leigh’s letter that, since the 2009 hearing, “we have embarked on an extensive programme of environmental monitoring.”

“The results of this monitoring has led to certain temporary works being undertaken which have facilitated the drying out of the mausoleum… This means we are now in a position to begin a major phase of repair later this year.”

Frogmore House, Windsor (Karen roe)

The MP retuned comment: “I am delighted that Buckingham Palace are ensuring the necessary work is being done to restore this beautiful mausoleum to a state befitting the Queen-Empress who gave her name to the era of Britain’s greatest age of social, cultural, and economic advancement.”

“When we think of Napoleon in Les Invalides and Lenin in his tomb in Red Square, it is humbling and somehow typically British to think that one of our country’s greatest monarchs is buried in an almost forgotten resting place.”

“I hope one day it will be better known,” Sir Edward commented, “and I am glad to see further substantial restoration will commence shortly.”

However, it is thought this project will take five years, due to the fragile nature of the building and its situation, so it may not be open for a while yet…

Written by

Victoria has a passion for British history and Constitutional Monarchy, hence her reasons for founding The Crown Chronicles. Her specialism is the Early Modern era, with particular emphasis on the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. She is also a keen reader (usually something historical), baker and shopper. Her motto is to have a full bookcase, but a fuller wardrobe. Miss Howard also works closely with the British Monarchist Foundation as their Press Secretary and Spokesman.

Latest comments
  • very happy to hear about this reopening

  • Unfortunately is article is very incorrect. What they call today “Fake News”. The restoration of the MAUSOLEUM has not even started yet. In the last three years some work was done that discovered the roof and guttering new to be completely replaced before any work can start repairing the damage inside. When you see scaffolding around the roof of the mausoleum you will know that the work is beginning. Estimated to take another 5 years minimum before it might be open inside. the gardens of Frogmore open every year for three days in early June and for one month only available for pre-booked groups to visit the house and gardens. Check the Royal Collection Trust website for details.

  • It is sad to know that this building has been left to deteriorate. I do hope that all of the monarchs final resting places are kept up. Victoria has brought many to research her life and reign. Thank you for the update.

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