Several birthday gifts exchanged between Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert have gone on display at Osborne House in their new exhibition Victoria and Albert’s Birthdays at Osborne. It features, among other things, a white marble statue of a nude female figure seated on a rock and a painting of women in various states of undress.
The new exhibition opened last Friday, along with a birthday trail around the Osborne House grounds, to coincide with the bicentenary of the royal couple’s births, and it will run until August.
Michael Hunter, English Heritage curator at Osborne, said: “Queen Victoria may be remembered as the mourning widow in black, but these gifts show a different side to her personality. She was open to nudity and the sensuous, more open than Albert who perhaps surprisingly was the more prudish of the pair. The new display and new trail at Osborne for Queen Victoria’s birthday show a woman most ardently in love with her husband and with art.”