Queen Charlotte’s Cottage – Kew Gardens

In Kew Gardens in Richmond, London, Great Britain, you find all kind of buildings. One of them is Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, a cute cottage, that looked very lonely and abandoned when I was around in July 2006. It was closed and there was no way to have a look inside. I am not sure if I did a good thing, but I carefully put the lens hood of my camera on the window. And to my surprise I got a look at the interior of the cottage.

This small house was built in the middle of the 18th century. George III gave it to his wife Queen Charlotte as part of their marriage settlement in 1761. Next to the cottage was the New Menagerie, where one could find exotic creatures like buffaloes and kangaroos. After 1818 it was no longer used, and in 1898 Queen Victoria on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee handed it over to Kew, on the condition that the woodland would be kept in its naturalistic state. Since the cottage has been part of the natural area of Kew.

Queen Charlotte had the building extended. In the 1770s she had a picnic room at the first floor added, which could be accessed via a curving staircase. Charlotte’s third daughter Princess Elizabeth painted the walls and ceiling of the picnic room with floral and bamboo decorations. Downstairs there was a print room where the Queen displayed her collection of Hogarth prints. The family used the cottage for a rest, meal or refreshment during their walks through Kew Gardens. The rooms however are rather small and were not intended to live in.

I just found this video of the interior of the cottage online. If you want to visit, it is closed for winter.

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