The house was always the favourite of Victoria, who spent many summer months there. It became the nearest thing to a family home her children were to know. The grounds include a 'Swiss Cottage' complete with rooms built on miniature scale for use by the Queen's children. The children also had their own adjoining garden.
Following Albert's death in 1861, it continued as one of her favourite homes. As a widow, Victoria always spent Christmas at Osborne. Marconi later transmitted some of the first radio messages to Victoria at Osborne to keep her abreast of the state of health of her son Edward, when he was seriously ill at Sandringham.