|Y Bwthyn Bach|
On the south side of the gardens of Windsor’s Royal Lodge is hidden from the public eye the miniature thatched, white-washed playhouse which belongs to Queen Elizabeth II. Called Y Bwthyn Bach (the Small House), the house was a gift from the Welsh people to then-Princess Elizabeth on her sixth birthday in 1932.
Her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice called it “the most glamorous wendy house ever.” It measures 24 feet long and 8 feet deep. The rooms are 5-feet-high.
The mining communities of Wales back then suffered terribly from the aftermath of the Great Depression. The house, constructed by suffering Welshmen using Welsh materials, was a touching reminder of workers in despair.
The house also reminded Elizabeth and her sister Margaret how it was to live like ordinary citizens in those days. In their playhouse, they did the chores, although, of course, it was a cottage far more luxurious compared to other homes at that time.
The layout and the interior are typically Welsh. Among the contents included a tiny radio, a little oak dresser and a miniature blue and gold china set. It also has Beatrix Potter's books and there were also pans, food cans, brooms, a packet of Epsom salts and a radio licence.
The house was burnt before it was even presented to the little princess, but thankfully, the tiny house was covered by insurance. All in all the house cost £1,100 to build.
With the passing of years, Y Bwthyn Bach also served as the favorite playhouse of the Queen’s children and grandchildren.
Before Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, Princess Beatrice of York restored and redecorated the playhouse.
“Granny was very clear that for all the fabric she wanted very little designs. It’s such a little house that she wanted little flowers and patterns,” she said.
She considers herself lucky enough to have played here and now, it’s time for the Queen’s great-grandchildren to enjoy this adorable gift from the people of Wales.