At the Isle of Wight, I visited two very different royal residences: one was the enchanting country residence of Queen Victoria and the other was the prison of King Charles I.
During the late 1800s, Queen Victoria visited her country mansion in the summers with her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and their children. Now, the property is a museum, with quotations from Queen Victoria’s diary posted on plaques and etched on fabric, her words guiding the way through the entire property.
The mansion is incredibly enchanting, with numerous English and foreign sculptures and other gifts. The dining room was entirely constructed in Indian architecture—the most beautiful and intricate designs I have ever seen. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed in the mansion.
Even more awe-inspiring, though, is the queen’s “backyard,” which consists of a beautiful courtyard, a forest, and a beach. The taste of royalty was never so sweet.
King Charles I, on the other hand, did not have as peaceful of a residence as Queen Victoria. Around 200 years before Queen Victoria’s birth, King Charles I ruled, sparked a civil war, and was eventually defeated and imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle until his execution in 1649.
Carisbrooke Castle, although not housing happy memories, had an ancient charm to it. Still, King Charles I was a prisoner and would never leave the castle again despite his many escape attempts.
In the Isle of Wight, I had the opportunity to witness both the blissful and detrimental consequences of royal blood.