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The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise of private gardens within the grounds of the Home Parkmarker, adjoining Windsor Castlemarker, in the Englishmarker county of Berkshire. The name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area.

It is the location of Frogmore Housemarker, a Royal retreat. It is also the site of the Royal Mausoleum containing the tombs of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum, burial place of the Queen Victoria's mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent; and the Royal Burial Groundmarker.

Frogmore House

Frogmore Housemarker was built in the 1680s and purchased by King George III as a country retreat for Queen Charlotte in 1792. Earl Mountbatten of Burma was born there.

The Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum

Mausoleum of the Duchess of Kent.
This beautiful mausoleum within the Frogmore Gardens is the burial place of Queen Victoria's mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the Duchess of Kent. The Mausoleum was designed by the architect A J Humbert, to a concept design by Prince Albert's favourite artist, Professor Ludwig Gruner.

In the latter years of her life, the Duchess lived in Frogmore House and in the 1850s, construction began on a beautiful domed 'temple' in the grounds of the estate. The top portion of the finished building was intended to serve as a summer-house for the Duchess during her lifetime, while the lower level was destined as her final resting place. The Duchess died at Frogmore House on 16 March 1861 before the summer-house was completed so the upper chamber became part of the mausoleum and now contains a statue of the Duchess.

Royal Mausoleum (or 'Frogmore Mausoleum')

Mausoleum of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert.
The second mausoleum in the grounds of Frogmore, just a short distance from the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum is the very much larger Royal Mausoleum, the burial place of Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert.

Queen Victoria and her husband had long intended to construct a special resting place for them both, instead of the two of them being buried in one of the traditional resting places of British Royalty, such as Westminster Abbeymarker or St. George's Chapel, Windsormarker. The mausoleum for the Queen's mother was being constructed at Frogmore in 1861 when Prince Albert died in December of the same year. Within a few days of his premature death, proposals for the mausoleum were being drawn up by the same designers involved in the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum: Professor Gruner and A J Humbert.

Work commenced in March 1862. The dome was made by October and the building was consecrated in December 1862, although the decoration was not finished until August, 1871.

The building is in the form of a Greek cross. The exterior was inspired by Italian Romanesque buildings, the walls are of granite and Portland stone and the roof is covered with Australian copper. The interior decoration is in the style of Albert's favourite painter, the Renaissance genius Raphael, an example of Victoriana at its most opulent. The interior walls are predominantly in Portuguese red marble, a gift from the King Luis of Portugal, a cousin of both Victoria and Albert, and are inlaid with other marbles from around the World.

The monumental tomb itself was designed by Baron Carlo Marochetti. It features recumbent marble effigies of the Queen and Prince Albert. The sarcophagus was made from a single piece of flawless grey Aberdeenmarker granite. The Queen's effigy was made at the same time, but was not put in the mausoleum until after her funeral.

Only Victoria and Albert are interred there, but the mausoleum contains other memorials. Among those is a charming monument to Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt (1843-1878), Victoria's second daughter, who died of diphtheria shortly after her youngest daughter May (1874-1878). In the centre of the chapel is a monument to Edward, Duke of Kent, Victoria's father. He died in 1820 and is buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor. One of the strangest sculptures is that of the Queen and consort in Anglo-Saxon costume. Albert is speaking. Victoria looks up at him in adoration.

Royal Burial Ground

Royal Burial Ground

Since 1928, most members of the royal family, except for sovereigns, have been interred in the Royal Burial Ground or cemetery behind Queen Victoria's mausoleum. Among those interred there are three of Victoria's children, Princess Helena of the United Kingdom; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn; and Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll. It is also the resting place of Queen Maria of Yugoslavia (1900-1961), a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and wife of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, Prince William of Gloucester (1941-1972) and his parents Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester; Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), who reigned as King Edward VIII before abdication; and his Duchess, Wallis Simpson (1896-1986). Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and the Earl of Athlone and their children Viscount Trematon and Lady May Abel Smith and spouse, Sir Henry Abel Smith, are also buried there.

Other garden features

Also within the grounds lie various garden buildings and monuments, including the 'Gothic Ruin' (1793), 'Queen Victoria's Tea House' (a brick pavilion building of 1869) and the 'Indian Kiosk' commemorating the end of the Indian Mutiny (1858).
Indian Kiosk.

Public access

The house, gardens and Royal mausoleum are usually open to the public about six individual days each year, usually around Easter and the August Bank Holiday. The mausoleum is also open on the Wednesday nearest Queen Victoria's birthday, 24 May. The Royal burial ground may be viewed from around its perimeter on the days that the gardens are open to the public. The Duchess of Kent's mausoleum may also be viewed externally, but is never open to the public.

See also

External links

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