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Osborne Estates December 1902

Bill in Parliament

A bill changing the status of Osborne House went into committee stage in the House of Commons on Thursday 11th December. Discussion took place on clause 1 of the bill, which, enacts that the Osborne Estate shall be vested in His Majesty in right of the Crown and shall cease to be part of the private estate of the Sovereign.

A member of the house proposed to insert after the first “shall” the words “during His Majesty’s life”. A summary of his speech is given below.

He said that the Osborne Estate belong to her late Majesty as a private estate, and such estates were held in the same manner as if they were private estates of any subject of the realm. Her Majesty paid rates and taxes on Osborne like any other private person, so in considering this subject the question of royal ownership was eliminated. Any precedent established by this bill could impact on subsequent Acts of Parliament with regard to disposal of private property. In the will of her late Majesty, Osborne Estate was left rent-free to the King, and then the Prince of Wales and his children; he did not think that the country should object to paying the £3000/£5000 running costs. He said the bill went to far and would establish two unfortunate principles; in the first place it would overturn the will of the late Queen Victoria that it should remain a private estate.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he did not think the bill in any way effected the disposal of private property. He did not feel that he was in a position to discuss the will of the late queen, but he was sure that she would have had no objections to the changes proposed by the bill. Far from Osborne being a “White Elephant”, the county should be gratefully to the King who was proposing that Osborne Estates belong to the nation.

He accepted that the Prince of Wales was losing any future interest in the estate, but as a minor that was not a problem.

The debate went on for some time, however clause 1 & 2 were passed which proposed that people be given access to Osborne Estate as defined by the trustees, the bill then when to the Lords.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press 13 December, 1902

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:41

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