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1901 - Death of Queen Victoria

22nd January. Death of Queen Victoria at “Osborne House”, Isle of Wight.

On Friday afternoon, 1st February, the Royal Yacht Alberta” that was lying at Trinity Pier near to Osborne House received the body of the Queen Empress that was solemnly and with great dignity brought aboard and placed in the after saloon. Slowly Alberta steamed across the Spithead anchorage to the mournful firing of minute guns from the Royal Navy and Foreign warships anchored there. As Alberta neared land shore batteries of the Portsmouth and Gosport fortifications took up the mournful salute. Alberta berthed at Gosport and, in accordance with the Queen Empress wishes, her body was taken the following morning to be laid to rest in the Royal Mausoleum at Windsor alongside that of her husband, Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.

When the Alberta was dismantled the Saloon in which the body of the Queen lay for her final journey across the Solent was carefully removed to the southern corner of the Green. This is the area of grass in front of Admiralty House and is marked on the O.S. map as the Summer House. During the early 1970’s it fell in to disrepair and was removed. Today (2009) the concrete base on which it stood can still be seen and in the Dockyard Collection is the brass plate that tells the story of the saloon’s claim to fame.