Looking down across Ramsgate harbour full of boats, towards the sea and seafront of hotels, shops, restaurants and museum building. Cars parked by railings
Ramsgate Royal Harbour from Westcliff Promenade

Queen Victoria’s Royal Retreat to the Isle of Thanet

Princess Victoria at aged 10-11 years. Painted by Westall

For centuries royals have retreated to our beautiful coast for rest and recuperation, travel and official tours - we even have the UK’s only Royal Harbour!

May 2019 marked the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Queen Victoria, one of Britain’s most famous monarchs, who visited the Isle throughout her lifetime.

To celebrate, we charted her trips to Thanet and her legacy in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.

Joss Snelling

Joss Snelling

In 1829 the widowed Duchess of Kent and her young daughter Victoria lived at Pierremont Hall, Broadstairs, for three months.The house belonged to Edward Fletcher. He rented it to the Duchess for 25 guineas per week. Whilst on this seaside holiday, the young Princess met the infamous local smuggler Joss Snelling (who was named after Joss Bay and fined £100 for smuggling at the age of 89!)

When Victoria went on to Broadstairs beach she had her own white Donkey, Dicky, a present from the Duke of York

Little Victoria Room at Albion House, Ramsgate

In Autumn 1835, Princess Victoria stayed at Albion House in Ramsgate for three months, to recuperate after falling ill with typhoid, on a punishing tour of the country. Whilst resting her mother and her aide, Sir John Conroy sought to capitalise on her weakness

Princess Victoria received news of her accession on 20th June 1837, she was 18 years old and succeeded her uncle William IV

Margate Clock Tower

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Albion House, Ramsgate on 24th November 1842 on a day trip from Walmer Castle

Margate Clock Tower was built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and was handed over to Margate Corporation on 24th May 1889

Broadstairs Clocktower on the seafront was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897

Broadstairs Bandstand

Broadstairs Bandstand was opened in 1892 by Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. The Bandstand is a focal point for entertainment throughout the year, and it is particularly busy during the summer

Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate

In 1904 Royal Victoria Pavilion on Ramsgate seafront was opened by Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise. Today the building is the UK’s largest Wetherspoons

If you visit Ramsgate during July and August you may bump into Princess Victoria and her governess Baroness Lehzen as part of the Ramsgate Costumed Walk ‘East Cliff Walk’