Before Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952, she reigned supreme over a life-size playhouse called “The Little House.” At an age when most of us begged our parents for Barbie’s Dreamhouse, six-year-old Princess Elizabeth received her own home from the people of Wales. And true to her royal upbringing, the structure was just as regal as any home she’s lived in since.
At 24 feet long and eight feet deep, the not-so-little playhouse also boasted five-foot-high ceilings. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret reportedly spent many hours in the mini home when they were children, cleaning and tidying the place. In addition to a working fridge, stove, doorbell, and telephone, the house featured a perfectly manicured garden. Right above the door was a sign reading “Y Bwthyn Bach,” which means “The Little House” in Welsh.
The house was displayed at an exhibition center in Kensington in 1932 and later moved to Windsor Great Park. However, the tarp covering the building caught fire during the move, igniting the thatched roof and destroying the timber. The house was repaired flawlessly, and it eventually was passed on to the queen’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
In 2012, the house was featured in a three-part documentary by the BBC to celebrate the queen’s 60th year on the throne. Princess Beatrice took a camera crew through the house, which she described as “the most glamorous wendy house ever.” (Wendy houses are playhouses that are large enough for one or more children to enter and are named after the house built for Wendy Darling in J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan.) The princess loved “The Little House” so much that she added a collection of her favorite teddy bears to the couch in the living room.
Right now, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are the perfect age for playing house, so we’d bet they have a blast whenever they come visit. And in the future, we hope we’ll get to see dozens of sweet photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s kids romping around inside, too!