Most everything at Windsor Castle is GREAT. I hope you will share all these great things with Kristine and me (Victoria) next September, 2014, on the Wellington Tour. For more info on the tour, click here.
There is one small thing -- or lots of small things -- that add up to an attraction as great as all of Windsor's other sights. Queen Mary's Dollhouse is truly amazing. It is one of those things in England I can't get enough of. Though I've visited many times, I am always eager to see it again.
Queen Mary's Dollhouse was an inspiration of Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956), a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who was a friend of renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). She envisioned the dollhouse as a showcase for English craftsmen. Lutyens designed the Edwardian-style London House after 1920 and it was completed in 1924, furnished with exquisite miniatures at a scale of one-to-twelve. To visit the website, click here
Unpacking the contents
Once completed, the Dollhouse was displayed for several years to the public in various venues with funds raised from admissions used for charitable purposes. Eventually, it was installed permanently at the Castle; currently, part of the fee from admission is still given to charity.
Princess Marie Louise, c. 1910
Princess Marie Louise was a patroness of the arts, devoted to supporting British artists and craftsmen in the difficult days following WWI. With her assistance and that of Lutyens, hundreds of prominent Britons participated in building and furnishing the project. For example, the garden (located in a drawer below the house and seen in the views above) was designed by famed landscaper Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932);
A fairy tale in miniature
The book above was hand written by Cyril Kenneth Bird, aka Fougasse, for the library. It measures 1/6 x 1.4 inches.
Among the 200-plus volumes in the library are works by authors Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edith Wharton.
On the center floor in the picture below, the saloon is shown, with portraits of King George V and Queen Mary. Below is the dining room.
Grand Piano in the Saloon
The Dining Room
The Dollhouse is served with running water, a flushing loo, electric lights, and a working lift.
The Elegant Bathroom
The Crown Jewels are well protected
Actual wine fills the bottles in the Wine Cellar.
from Berry Bros., St. James Street
In the manner of the Edwardian era, the Nursery is on the top floor
The King's Bed Chamber
This is just a small selection of what you will see at Queen Mary's Doll House when you join Kristine and me at Windsor Castle, as part of The Wellington Tour in September, 2014.