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The Royal Laundry, circa 1911
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The Royal Laundry, circa 1911

Measurements: 10cm (4in) x 7.5cm (3in)



Brass label inscribed ‘Royal Laundry / G R / Richmond. Surrey’, verso ‘York Cottage / G R / Sandringham’

The Royal Laundry, designed by Prince Albert, was built in Kew Foot Road, Richmond in 1846. A special miniature train brought Queen Victoria's laundry into Richmond Station from London, Windsor and other royal households except Balmoral. It is estimated that one and half tonnes of laundry was processed daily. The laundry was closed in the 1920s when the work was farmed out to more conveniently located laundry firms.

York Cottage which is said to resemble ‘three Merrie England pubs joined together’ was George V’s favourite home. Originally called the Bachelor's Cottage, it was built as an overflow residence for Sandringham House. In 1893, it was given by the future King Edward VII, then the Prince of Wales, to Prince George later George V, and the future Queen Mary, May of Teck, as a wedding present. The couple lived there for 33 years until the death of Queen Alexandra in 1925; their five youngest children were born there.