|Morning tour of Osborne House the Holiday home of Victoria and Albert. Had a very good guide who took us around for about two hours explaining the house and the importance of it to Victoria and Albert because Albert really designed it thoug it was Victoria's money that paid for it. They always spent the week of their birthdays there, some time in Summer and then Christmas. Their birthday gifts to one another are displayed - largely pieces of sculpture including one rather daring piece of Albert in Roman costume with a rather short toga.
The Indian wing added reflects how seriously Victoria took her role as Empress of India and she always had Indian servants - something we'll see no doubt when the film "Victoria and Abdul" is released; given that Judy Dench is once again to play the role of Victoria it should be interesting.
I didn't take photos inside the house as our admission included a substantial booklet with information and photos.
We all took the walk to the beach where the Royal children learned to swim and where Q V's bathing box is on display having been renovated after being used as a chicken coop. Albert was a great believer in the health properties of the sea and in parallel Victoria believed that rooms should not be excessively heated. 16 degrees caused some dissatisfaction from visitors.
It was a lovely sunny day and there were a few children swimming but we walked on to Swiss Cottage the play house built for the children to a design by Albert. A substantial playhouse which would still make a very pleasant place to live.
Our coach driver was anxious to leave by 1:30 as we had to catch the 2:30 ferry to Southampton and he needed to be there well in advance to get the coach on, so we raced back via the cafe all grabbing a packaged sandwich to eat on board and John took off arriving at the empty parking area at about 1:28 and was told that we could get onto the 1:30 ferry that was about to leave. Coach on the ferry and we felt it start to move out of the harbour as we were climbing the stairs to the seating deck.
All very happy as traffic was predicted to be very slow towards London. At a hotel which is very well situated near the corner of Gloucester and Cromwell Rds with a Tube staition opposite and the wonderful collection of museums within walking distance.
Just time to unpack and freshen up then out for farewell dinner.