When King George III came to the throne, he could not bear to live at Hampton Court Palace which had been the scene of so many arguments between his grandfather, George II, and his parents. He therefore decided to make Kew his family home, staying sometimes at St. James' while on official business in the capital. He was also much taken with Windsor Castle, but the building was in a most neglected state and had been largely divided up and let out to tenants. The Royal Surveyor, Sir William Chambers, further advised the King that it could not be made comfortably habitable. So, instead, King George settled on the idea of having a 'hunting lodge' in Windsor where he might stay on family excursions when it became too late to return to London. He therefore tried to buy Cumberland Lodge and the Great Park Rangership from his brother, the Duke of Cumberland, but was unsuccessful. In June 1776 however, the Lord Steward relinquished the occupancy of the 'Queen's Garden Lodge' and, at the Queen's suggestion, King George embarked on its complete renovation as a Royal residence.
This building was a comfortable country house which Queen Anne had favoured in preference to the draughty old fortress nearby. It stood on the south side of the castle's upper ward, not 40 yards away from the curtain wall, laying right across the Long Walk and overlooking the old road to Datchet. Chambers turned it into a large barrack-like building and the Queen purchased Burford House, 200 yards down the slope, as further accommodation for the large Royal family. The two houses were sometimes known as the Upper and Lower Lodge respectively. The family moved in during the Summer of 1778. The Prince of Wales was given quarters in the castle itself. King George ended up spending £70,000 on the project and declared that, had he realised the expense, he would have restored the castle instead.
The Royals lived at the Queen's Lodge for over a quarter of a century. It was their favourite home; though the Queen also favoured adjoining Frogmore House which she would visit during the day. When Sir William Chambers eventually died in 1796 however, the new Royal Surveyor, James Wyatt, was much more enthusiastic concerning plans for the castle's restoration as a Royal residence. Work began almost immediately and the King moved in on 2nd November 1804.
Upon King George III's death, his son and successor, George IV, decided that the Queen's Lodge spoiled his view of the Long Walk and had it torn down in August 1823.
The Queen's Lodge no longer stands.
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