Queen Victoria‘s grave will soon be open again for public visitation.
Victoria and her husband Prince Albert are buried at the Royal Mausoleum, which is on the grounds of Frogmore House (where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took their official engagement shots at the end of last year). Frogmore House itself sits next door to Windsor Castle and has even been named as a possible reception venue for Harry and Meghan. And since 2007, the royal burial site has been closed to visitors because it was deemed unstable due to flooding damage. But now, plans are being put into motion to restore the tomb to its former glory and reopen it to the public.
Construction on the mausoleum began in 1862, just a few months after the death of Victoria’s beloved husband, Prince Albert. Victoria was a frequent visitor to the mausoleum to see her husband’s grave.
Ironically, Queen Victoria herself seemed to warn that the grounds on which the royal burial site was set to be built weren’t the most solid. She cautioned that because of continual flooding, the space would require heating year-round in order to prevent damage. Her fears came to fruition when the space was declared structurally unsound in 2007 and closed to the public.
After its initial closure, plans were announced for repairs, but more than a decade later, repairs have been stagnant and the space is still not near ready to welcome visitors. It took a push from Sir Edward Leigh, a conservative member of Parliament who led the campaign to renovate the mausoleum, to get work going on the project once again.
“I am delighted that Buckingham Palace are ensuring the necessary work is being done to restore this beautiful mausoleum to a state befitting the Queen-Empress who gave her name to the era of Britain’s greatest age of social, cultural, and economic advancement,” Leigh said of the news. “I hope one day it will be better known, and I am glad to see further substantial restoration will commence shortly.”
Repairs and renovations of the mausoleum are set to begin this year.