Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Queen Victoria's Isle of Wight palace court room reopens

The Durbar Room following conservation work (left) and pictured in the 1890s (right) Image copyright English Heritage
Image caption English Heritage, which manages Osborne House, said curators had been inspired by photographs of the Durbar Room from the 1890s

Queen Victoria's Indian court room at her former Isle of Wight palace has reopened to the public following conservation work.

The Durbar Room at Osborne House, East Cowes, which is managed by English Heritage, has been returned to its original use as a banqueting hall.

Display cases have been replaced by a formal dining table and chairs, made to Victorian specifications.

English Heritage said curators had been inspired by photographs from the 1890s.

The room's elaborate plaster ceiling, designed by Lockwood Kipling, father of The Jungle Book author Rudyard, has also been cleaned and conserved, a spokeswoman said.

She said the changes would help visitors "step into the grandeur of court life and understand Queen Victoria's relationship with the Empire in her home's Indian wing".

The room also contains a collection of gifts from the sub-continent commemorating Queen Victoria's golden and diamond jubilees of 1887 and 1897.

Image copyright Philip Halling
Image caption Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the Osborne estate on the Isle of Wight in 1845

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