Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Wendy house fit for a Queen

Queen Elizabeth was gifted a miniature house with a thatched roof when she was a child. Princess Beatrice organised the restoration of the Wendy House in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.
both images courtesy Topham Picturepoint
King George V1, his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret with the new Wendy house in 1932
'Y Bwthyn Bach' is Welsh for The Little House. It sits in the grounds of Windsor's Royal Lodge where the Queen played as a child. The house was presented to the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in 1932 on behalf of the people of Wales' on the occasion of Elizabeth's sixth birthday.
Princess Beatrice inside the newly restored house. The front door opens onto a small hallway with a kitchen on the right and little sitting/dining room on the left. A staircase gives access to a bedroom and bathroom, which when it was first built, was very modern, with hot and cold running water, a heated towel rail and electricity.
The contents include a tiny radio, a little oak dresser and a miniature blue and gold china set. All of the  linen is embroidered with the initial 'E'. The house also contains pots and pans, food cans, brooms and there is a gas cooker and fridge which both worked. There is even a working miniature-sized telephone. The house has its own front garden with scaled down hedges and flower borders. 
Sitting/dining room has lattice windows with a portrait of the Queen Mother and Beatrice's teddies on the chair. A bookcase filled with Beatrix Potter's little books, including Jemima Puddleduck, ensured the girls never grew bored.
all images above courtesy BBC ONE


  1. To see and read about the playhouse is very interesting. Maybe they never grew bored I think we are better off with our way of life. Allways paperadzi I mean.
    Have a lovely sunday

    1. Dear Marijke - you are right, we have so much more freedom and choices. Their life is not to be envied.
      Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  2. Rosemary,

    Thank you for a really lovely post. It all looks idyllic, like a fairy tale... which is what it is. I do not dislike the royal family, and can't help suffering from a touch of voyeurism, when it comes to them, but, forgive me if I say this, as this is how I feel: they are to be envied by many and they don't really have to make choiches, in life. They have everything and more. They will never be able to spend all the money they have, and compare it with what is happening in the real world.

    I was watching children in an African village, last night. They drink water: filthy, contaminated water, which comes out of a hole in the ground. Their mothers know the children will probably die because of that water but what can they do? the children are thirsty... there is no choice but to drink what is available.

    These are the people who have no freedom and no choice. They don't even have the freedom to turn a tap on and drink what we all take for granted: a glass of water. We should all be grateful for what we have.

    Like I said, though I don't dislike the royal family, but I can't help feeling they are priviledged. Do I envy them? No. But it would be nice if, and this is an ideal, I know, there was a bit more equality in life. Life is not fair, is it?

    Sorry for any mistakes, but I can't find my glasses!



    1. Dear Anna - thank you for your thoughtful comments.
      You are right about many people having no freedom or any choices in the world, and in fact I think that most people around the globe have a pretty awful life. We in the West do not give enough thought as to how fortunate we are in comparison.
      I can tell that you are a really caring person, and the world would be a better place if there were more people like you around. Everyone should be given chances and an equal opportunity for themselves and their families.

  3. How utterly charming..
    I love this post Rosemary.. as i did the thatched cottages..
    Is'nt it just the cutest little cottage.
    Thats what Royalty is all about.. fine things ..
    A fantastic photo of George the V1 and Queen Mother, and the princesses.

    My father and a couple of friends, built a little wendy house for my sister around 1942 or so.. for her and her little friends. When i was around 6.. i remember asking her if i could go inside and be with her.. her reply"no" you are a baby..its for grown ups. I will never forget that.. it was fitted out with curtains and little chairs and tea cups .. I was allowed to peep through the window..

    Enjoyed this.. I have great admiration for our Royal family.

    Happy Sunday Rosemary

    1. Dear Val - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing this, but how very sad I feel for that little girl who could not get into the Wendy House and had to peep through the window - children can be very cruel to one another without necessarily realising it.
      Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

  4. Thank you , Rosemary, for this delightful post. I had heard about the house and seen an exterior photograph a long time ago, but never any pictures from the inside.

    Does the Royal Family live a priviledged life — yes. Would you or I want to have nearly every day of our lives planned for us — I don't think so!

    Thanks again — the whole concept of the original project was and still is charming.

    1. Dear Mark - pleased you enjoyed seeing the house again, and some interior shots that were new to you.
      This post has grown in ways I had never envisaged.
      H always says that he feels sorry for them, he says it is a denial of their human rights - this coincides with your thoughts.


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