Today the name Frogmore might be most associated with the cottage where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex used to live, but on the other side of the Frogmore estate, you’ll find the Frogmore Mausoleums and the Royal Burial Ground: home to the final resting places of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and many other members of the Royal Family.
Frogmore sits in Windsor Home Park, about half a mile from Windsor Castle, and is home to Frogmore House, the impressive royal residence and retreat used by Queen Charlotte, King George V and Queen Mary, Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and a host of others since 1792.
After Prince Albert’s death in 1861, the Royal Mausoleum was built on the grounds and was designed by Professor Ludwig Gruner of Dresden and architect A.J. Humbert in the Romanesque style. The Prince was a great admirer of Raphael, and Queen Victoria directed the painting and sculptures inside to reflect his works. She visited constantly, and after her death in 1901, Victoria’s body joined her husband’s in the mausoleum.
According to the Royal Family’s website, the name of the estate comes “from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying marshy area” so it’s no wonder that water damage to the mausoleum has been a problem over the years. A restoration project started in 2018 including a new roof and drainage system, and videos of the project are available on the Royal Family’s YouTube channel.
Next to the mausoleum is the Royal Burial Ground, and many members of the Royal Family were previously interred in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel before being re-buried at Frogmore in 1928. Three of Victoria and Albert’s children are buried there: Prince Arthur, Princess Louise, and Princess Helena, as well as their spouses and some of their children and grandchildren. The last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice, was buried at Frogmore in 1981 at the age of 97.
The only monarch resting at the Royal Burial Ground is the Duke of Windsor, briefly known as Edward VIII, who is buried there alongside his wife, Wallis Simpson. Their graves are set back from the others under a plane tree.
Along with the Duke of Windsor, two of King George V and Queen Mary’s other children are buried at Frogmore: Prince George, Duke of Kent, and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, along with their wives, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.
Some of the others interred at the Royal Burial Ground include Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, who was the brother of Mary of Teck and a great-grandson of George III; his son, George, the 2nd Marquess of Cambridge and George’s wife, Dorothy; and Princess Alexandra’s husband, Sir Angus Ogilvy, who was the most recent burial at Frogmore in 2005.
Nearby in the gardens, Queen Victoria’s mother has her own mausoleum. The Duchess of Kent spent her final years living at Frogmore House and died there in 1861, just nine months before Prince Albert’s death. Built by the same team as the Royal Mausoleum, the Duchess of Kent’s resting place is settled in a peaceful area with a bridge over a lake and also features a life-size statue of the duchess.
The Royal Burial Ground and mausoleums are not open to the public for tours, but Frogmore House opens on select dates for pre-booked visits. Although currently closed, the house plans to open for tours again in 2022; check the Royal Collection website for details.