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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Inside Frogmore: The Queen's Most Private Retreat

Frogmore House (pictured) was designed as a place of study, contemplation and escape for Queen Charlotte, the green-fingered wife of George III 

Over the years it has, variously, been a residence for Queen Victoria's mother, a schoolroom for Edward VIII and George VI, a honeymoon destination for George VI and the Queen Mother, and a home for Queen Mary's collection of curios and papier mache furniture.

Now run by the Royal Collection Trust, it also serves as a repository for many of the contents from the former Royal Yacht Britannia. If the Monarchy ever holds a car boot sale, it will probably start with Frogmore.

The house itself is no longer occupied, though still used for occasional entertaining. But the gardens remain in constant royal use.

With up to a million tourists trooping through Windsor Castle each year and most of the estate open to the public, this is one corner of Windsor where the Windsors can be themselves.

Today's Royal Family have grown up enjoying its perfect lawns, its over-grown nooks and crannies and its eccentric collection of follies. It is a firm favourite for royal picnics and barbecues. The Duke of Edinburgh still enjoys using its broad pathways for exercising his carriage ponies.

But it is the Queen who is unquestionably the boss here, discussing all the comings and goings with the five-strong gardening team. No tree or shrub is removed or planted without her say so.

But on three days each year, the gates are opened. Starting this Tuesday, anyone can have the run of the place. Because it is that time of year when almost 4,000 private gardens, large and small, are thrown open to the public as part of the National Gardens Scheme.  Click link for full post from The Daily Mail.

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