We recently had the opportunity to visit Windsor, a town in Southeast England, one hour west of London via train. This small town is home to Windsor Castle, the Royal Residence. This was the main reason for our visit, but we did scope out the area as it’s quite small. It seems the castle takes up much of the town, with shops and restaurants sprinkled throughout the area.
The construction of Windsor Castle began in 1070 and was completed 16 years later. It is the world’s oldest castle, and the largest inhabited. It has been the family home of the British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years and is currently the official residence of Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty spends most of her private weekends at Windsor and takes up residence for a month over Easter, and one week in June.
There is limited access while visiting the castle, and pictures aren’t allowed inside. Included in the visit are the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St. George’s Chapel, as well as the current exhibitions. Currently, the two exhibitions are Shakespeare in the Royal Library and 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe. The first exhibition showcases Shakespeare’s work and his connection with Windsor and the royal court, and the latter is a celebration of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, showcasing her outfits of evening gowns worn at official events over the years.
The castle ground is quite impressive. It is like its own town broken up into three wards: upper, middle and lower. In the upper ward is where the State Apartments are located at. They are furnished with art work collected from the kings and queens who have lived at Windsor. Today, these rooms are used by the Royal Family for events.
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is also located in the same area of the State Rooms. The doll house is the largest in the world, and next to this display are the French dolls, France and Marianne with their wardrobe of clothes and accessories designed by French designers. These dolls are quite large and were presents from the French Government to Queen Elizabeth and her sister when they were children.
Lastly at the lower ward is where St. George’s Chapel resides. Its Gothic architecture is quite impressive. Inside, the build is tall with stone fan vaulting. The stained glass windows are immaculate and all over are tombs of former kings and queens.
This visit to see Windsor and the Royal Residence was low-key and pleasant. Everything was so close by and we did enjoy visiting the castle. I find it more appealing than Buckingham Palace, and it is worth a visit if you have the time for it.