Originally known as ‘The Prince of Wales Hotel’ the property was built in 1843 actually pre-dating Osborne House. From 1854 until Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 it was used by the Osborne Estate to provide accommodation for the staff of Royal visitors together with stabling. The coach house remains today and is across the original courtyard to the south of the main building (on the left looking at the front). Naturally there are local rumours that the property was used more extensively by Osborne residents including tales of a linking tunnel in the cellar.
The land is still held on the balance of an 800 year Crown lease. As half of the £25 per annum rent has to be collected every six months it is unsurprising that there are current negotiations ongoing to transfer the freehold.
The Prince of Wales Hotel is the main section of building to the north (right hand side looking at the front) and is also original. The section of the main building to the south (on the left), the present dining room was formerly known as The Prince of Wales Refreshment Room with the kitchen to the rear was destroyed by fire in 1909 and rebuilt that same year. The property lease was owned by brewers Mew Langton at that time and the tenant, a Mr Partridge had to evacuate his children, two servants and one gentleman visitor as the fire took hold. (Mrs Partridge was actually at a dance that evening). There are tales of bravery by residents of the Osborne Naval College and the East Cowes Fire Brigade as the fire was eventually brought under control, saving the main hotel building.