Windsor, a royal residence that has a rich history dating back to William the Conqueror, is one of the most impressive castles in the world. From its historical significance to its stunning architecture, there is much to explore within its walls. As Prince William and Kate Middleton prepare to make this castle their home, now is the perfect time to take a closer look at what lies inside.
The State Rooms
The State Rooms of Windsor Castle are the most impressive and lavish spaces within the castle. These rooms are used by the Queen and members of the royal family to host official events and entertain guests. Many of these rooms were destroyed during the late 17th century, but have since been restored to their former glory.
One of the most breathtaking rooms in the State Rooms is the Waterloo Chamber. Originally a private room of Queen Caroline, this chamber now showcases an impressive collection of portraits of those who played a major role in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. The walls of this room are adorned with paintings by notable artists, such as Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Another notable room in the State Rooms is the Garter Throne Room. This room is used for the annual Garter Day ceremony, where new knights are installed into the Order of the Garter. The walls of this room are covered in beautiful green damask, and the throne itself is a sight to behold.
The Private Apartments
While the State Rooms are open to the public, the Private Apartments of Windsor Castle are where the royal family resides. These apartments are not usually open for public viewing, but visitors can catch a glimpse of the living spaces through guided tours.
The Crimson Drawing Room is one of the most notable rooms in the Private Apartments. Originally created for King George IV, this room is adorned with lavish crimson silk damask wallpaper and beautiful plasterwork. The room is often used by the Queen for private audiences.
The Queen’s Drawing Room is another impressive space within the Private Apartments. This room is used for both official and private functions and is decorated with luxurious furniture and paintings.
No tour of Windsor Castle would be complete without a visit to St. George’s Chapel. This chapel is not only a place of worship, but also a burial ground for many members of the royal family. The chapel is known for its stunning architecture, including its impressive vaulted ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows.
Inside St. George’s Chapel, you will find the Knights of the Garter, which is the highest order of chivalry in the land. The knights, including Prince Charles, are installed into the order in a special ceremony known as the Garter Service. This ceremony takes place in the Quire, a space reserved for the choir.
As Prince William and Kate Middleton make Windsor Castle their home, the historical and cultural significance of this incredible residence will only continue to grow. Whether you’re interested in its rich history, impressive architecture, or royal connections, a tour of Windsor Castle is sure to leave you in awe of this magnificent landmark.
Inside Windsor Castle
A Historical Space
Windsor Castle, one of the most impressive castles in the world, has a rich history that dates back to the late 11th century. Originally built by William the Conqueror after the Battle of Waterloo, this royal residence has been home to many kings and queens throughout the centuries.
The State Apartments
One of the most notable parts of Windsor Castle is the State Apartments. These grand rooms are open to the public and are used for official functions and ceremonies. The State Apartments consist of several chambers, including the Throne Room, where the monarch will sit during the coronation.
Inside the State Apartments, visitors can see the impressive plasterwork that adorns the walls and ceilings. Much of this plasterwork was created by the famous artist Charles Will, known for his intricate designs. The State Apartments also house a collection of paintings from the Royal Collection, showcasing the talent of renowned artists throughout history.
The King’s Private Apartments
While the State Apartments are open to the public, the King’s Private Apartments remain closed to visitors. These rooms serve as the private residences for the royal family and are where they retreat from the public eye. The King’s Private Apartments are decorated with luxurious furnishings and offer a glimpse into the personal lives of the monarchy.
The Garter Throne Room
Another notable room within Windsor Castle is the Garter Throne Room. This chamber is used for the annual Order of the Garter ceremony, where knights of the highest order receive their honors. The room is adorned with exquisite tapestries depicting scenes from the Order’s history, creating a visually captivating space.
The Vestibule, located at the entrance of Windsor Castle, is a grand space that sets the tone for the rest of the castle. The walls are painted with historical scenes, showcasing important events and figures from the castle’s past. The Vestibule also houses the Garter Robing Room, where knights prepare for the ceremony.
Destroyed and Rebuilt
Throughout its long history, Windsor Castle has faced destruction and undergone extensive rebuilding. In the 17th century, the castle was severely damaged during the English Civil War. However, it was later restored to its former glory. More recently, in 1992, a fire broke out in the castle, causing significant damage. Once again, Windsor Castle was restored, and today it stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the British monarchy.
A World of History
With its rich history, impressive architecture, and stunning interiors, a visit to Windsor Castle offers a unique glimpse into the world of the British monarchy. Whether exploring the public State Apartments or imagining life in the private King’s Private Apartments, visitors can truly immerse themselves in the history and grandeur of this iconic castle.