21 January 2021 – Newsletter

Friends Booking System

A reminder to members to use the telephone booking system and not the online booking system please.  The site is currently only open and manned on Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 until 16.00 so calls outside of these times will not be answered.  If possible, try and book a week ahead (weather forecast permitting!)

From half-term, ordinarily February 15th, it is expected that Osborne will revert to opening Wednesday to Sunday 10.00 – 16.00 until the end of March.  Changes to or lifting of current Covid restrictions may impact upon these dates and upon the operations at Osborne so do regularly check their website for any updates.  Read more …

LATEST NEWS – 18 January 2021

This note has been received from Dame Judi Dench.

“I was very sad indeed to hear about Tim. Since being associated with the Friends of Osborne, he was always so welcoming and we enjoyed our time spent with him.”

David Mills & Judi Dench

14 January 2021


I am sad to announce the death of Tim King who was the first Chair of the Friends of Osborne when we became a charity in 2015.

After a long and distinguished career in the judiciary, Tim took on the role of shaping and guiding the ‘new’ Friends, and together with trustees past and present, created our Governance document and ensured our compliance with the statutory conditions and enrolment with the Charity Commission. 

Tim’s memorable achievement in his role as Chair, was his successful and personal approach to Dame Judi Dench, who was of course, delighted to become our patron and enjoyed Tim’s warmth, humour and hospitality during her subsequent visits to Osborne.

Suffering from ill-health for a number of years, Tim stood down in 2019 and handed the reigns over to me – giving sound advice, support and friendship along the way.  I shall personally miss his twinkling humour, court room anecdotes and after-dinner story telling. 

Tim died on Tuesday this week and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jane, and all his family and friends.

Rob Flower
Chair of Friends of Osborne Trustees.

6 January 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January, English Heritage have taken the decision to keep a small selection of their sites open for local people to use for exercise during the lockdown.  The grounds of Osborne will be open during the lockdown period at weekends until the February half-term.  As before, all visits must be booked in advance, with Friends of Osborne members using the telephone booking system set up for this purpose.  Please stay local and bear in mind the government’s latest advice.

Welcome Friends of Osborne

Welcome to our website.  The Friends of Osborne undertake an annual programme of fundraising events which are open to both members and their guests. We aim to encourage interest in Osborne House, its history, buildings, contents, grounds and gardens’

The money raised by the Friends of Osborne is used to support English Heritageʼs commitment to maintain Osborne House for the Nation. In 2015 the Friends became a registered charity.  Since 1987 the Friends and its predecessor organisation have helped English Heritage with many renovation projects to the House and grounds as well as for educational projects.  

One of our more recent contributions has been towards the renovation of the Andromeda Fountain on the lower terrace.  The fountain fell into disrepair many years ago and the Terrace was closed to the public.  With the assistance of a donation from the Friends the fountain has been beautifully restored to full working order and members were invited to a private viewing in July 2017.  The Terrace and the Andromeda Fountain, which forms its centrepiece, is once again open to the public.

We are very proud and honoured that, following the filming of ‘Victoria and Abdulʼ at Osborne House in Autumn 2016, Dame Judi Dench agreed to be the first Patron of the Friends of Osborne.

New members are welcomed at any time and details of the benefits of being a member and how to join can be found on this website. Additionally, we are always looking for volunteers to support our charity.



February 15th – 19th  Half-term open 

After half-term Osborne will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only until March 21st.

The grounds and gardens will be open and operating normal winter opening hours (10am – 4pm).  Full Covid-secure measures are in place and members need to book  visits in advance using the telephone booking system.

Friends of Osborne Members' Events Diary

Due to current and ongoing restrictions there will be no events of any description at Osborne in the foreseeable future.

  • No Events