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Happy 100th Birthday to The Queen's Doll's House. The smallest palace in the kingdom, by Lucinda Lambton

Regulars | By Lucinda Lambton

The library had new books by Thomas Hardy, Kipling, Belloc and Sassoon. George Bernard Shaw refused to take part

Happy 100th Birthday to The Queen's Doll's House. The Queen Mary’s Doll’s House was meticulously designed by Lutyens, with a miniature Sherlock Holmes book – and a mini loo. Now new authors, from Alan Bennett to Tom Stoppard, have added mini-books to the library. By Lucinda Lambton

Between 1921 and 1924, the great Sir Edwin Lutyens built a doll’s house for Queen Mary, George V’s wife. How could this little house ensnare the devotion of over a thousand craftsmen, as well as three years’ passionate attention by the country’s best architect? It was Princess Marie Louise, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, who on the ‘impulse of the moment’ first thought of asking her friend the renowned architect Edwin Lutyens to design such a rarity for the Queen. He triumphed with glittering golden knobs on. Queen Mary had been an obsessive collector of objets d’art, most particularly of ‘tiny craft’ with a family connection which she amassed with a manically knowledgeable eye. So it came to be that perfection was to reign in miniature, to be cheered at, loved and lauded to this day. Great and glorious were the participants. The sculptor Sir George Frampton was responsible for its exterior...

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