During Open House Weekend, Victoria and I visited Marlborough House.
For the history of Marlborough House, see Victoria’s post about her visit there in 2011 and our post from Monday, May 9, 2016.
from London Gardens Online:
Marlborough House is a former ‘town mansion and genuine `hotel particulier’ of 1707-11′ built to a design of Sir Christopher Wren, which still possesses much of the extent of its original garden. It was commissioned by the first Duke of Marlborough but the idea for a town house was his Duchess Sarah’s. She secured the lease of the site from Queen Anne and chose Wren in preference to Sir John Vanbrugh as architect, although she fell out with Wren during construction and supervised the completion of the house herself. She laid the foundation stone in 1709 and it was completed in 1711, the actual design probably drawn by Wren’s son under his father’s supervision. Sarah died here in 1744, and the Dukes of Marlborough had the house until 1817, after which it was given as the London home to Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After Charlotte’s death Prince Leopold continued to use Marlborough House until he became King of the Belgians in 1831, the same year of William IV’s accession to the throne, whose consort Queen Adelaide was granted the house for life in the event of widowhood.
The Queen Dowager continued to spend time here after the King’s death and gave a wedding banquet for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. After Queen Adelaide’s death it was settled on the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII as his residence from the age of 18. At that time it was substantially altered by Sir James Pennethorne, chief architect at the Office of Works. It continued in royal occupation into the 1950s, by the Duke of York later George V, Edward VII’s widow Queen Alexandra, and finally Queen Mary on the death of George V came to Marlborough House in 1936 and died here in 1953. In 1959 Elizabeth II placed it at the disposal of the Government as a Commonwealth Centre, which it became in 1962, becoming the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1965.
The House was wonderful, but the thing I really wanted to see was Queen Alexandra’s pet cemetery. Regular readers of this blog may recall that on a previous trip to England I’d gone to Oatlands near Windsor in order to view the pet cemetery of Frederica, Duchess of York.
From The College of St. George website: