The late Queen Elizabeth II lived at the Royal Lodge in Windsor during her childhood with her sister Princess Margaret, and there was one place in particular where the sisters spent much of their time playing – the playhouse.
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In 1932, when the Queen was six years old, the people of Wales gifted her an incredible life-sized playhouse complete with running water, electricity, a fully-functioning kitchen and bathroom, and a living room and bedroom.
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Then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were photographed frequently in and around the home, showing windows with white frames, a coordinating door and a thatched roof. The home is surrounded by a brick wall with two concrete balls, and leads up onto the garden.
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The Queen next to her playhouse in 1933
The royal family is usually unable to accept public gifts for security reasons, but since the home was given to the Queen herself, as opposed to the Royal Collection Trust, she was able to keep it as her own.
Fast-forward 80 years and the impressive playhouse is now enjoyed by the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are back from the US and in the UK, their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Wales children are especially likely to enjoy their great-grandmother’s special gift, given their most recent move to Adelaide Cottage, just a ten minute walk from the late monarch’s royal Windsor residence.
Prince Charles also enjoyed playing at the house during his childhood
The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice previously spoke out about her experience at the playhouse during her childhood, and even helped to renovate it in 2012. “Granny and her sister played here growing up and we’ve been lucky enough to play here with cousins and second cousins and it’s a big family treat,” she told Andrew Marr on the documentary The Diamond Queen.
“It’s the most glamorous wendy house ever, but it’s really beautiful and what you’re seeing now is after a year’s renovation process. It’s been completely rethatched, new curtains, new wiring, a bit of a spruce up really! All the little china and glass was created especially for the house.”
The Queen’s great-grandchildren have inherited her playhouse
And while the Queen might have passed her playhouse phase, Beatrice added, “She still likes to come back and visit. Granny was very clear that for all the fabric she wanted very little designs.
“It’s such a little house that she wanted little flowers and patterns. It’s beautiful. I’ve been lucky enough to play here and now Granny’s a great-granny, so now the great-grandchildren can enjoy it too.”
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