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Windsor Castle

Grounds of the Windsor Castle

Grounds of the Windsor Castle

The English have a very strange relationship with the Royal Family.For everyone who adores the Royal Family and can’t imagine an England without them, there is just as many native English crying for doing away with the monarchy altogether.England is still stubbornly holding on to this marriage of convenience, as the Royal Family do bring in the money.But even in the future, if the English do decide on a final divorce settlement with their monarchs, the castles will stay.

The Watchtower Through Time

Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s official homes and opened often to the public, has watched over this stormy relationship between the Royal Family and their public for nearly 1000 years.

Garter Throne Room in the Windsor Castle

Garter Throne Room in the Windsor Castle

It is the largest castle in the world that still acts as a home for a monarch’s family.It is also the largest home the Queen owns and costs more than you can imagine in order to run it.

Fortunately, the Queen’s loss is the world citizen’s gain.In order to keep Windsor Castle from being shut down, it was opened to the public in 1845, during the reign of Queen Victoria.The public does not have access to all of Windsor Castle, such as current private Royal rooms, but exploring the rest of the castle will more than more than make up for that.

Although Windsor Castle is, officially, a home (albeit a huge one), it is also a museum.All of the rooms and walls reveal priceless paintings, brilliant architecture and the history of England.Windsor Castle is also home to twenty six acres of beloved gardens and brilliant stables.Four in hand carriages are kept on the grounds and are often used.

The Worst Night

Windsor Castle has survived wars, time and invasions during its existence, but it was almost gutted on 20 November, 1992 by a devastating fire.Although the castle survived being stormed and physical storms, it was nearly destroyed by a spotlight falling on a curtain in the Private Chapel.The fire lasted for fifteen hours before it could be put out, leaving over 100 rooms damaged.

Although restoration is still an ongoing project, the majority of repairs were completed in 1997.It really is amazing what the English can get accomplished when they all decide something has to be done.Despite controversy over the role of the monarchs in modern English society, the majority of the English believed that repairing Windsor Castle was a priority.In spirit, the castle belongs to everyone in the UK, not just the Queen.

Golden Jubilee - Queen Victoria Statue outside Windsor Castle

Golden Jubilee - Queen Victoria Statue outside Windsor Castle

Visiting Berkshire

In order to get to Windsor Castle, you have to get to Berkshire (pronounced BURKS-sure).Berkshire has a very thorough public transportation and roadway system.Even if you decided to stay in another country, it should still be possible to easily find a tour bus or arrange a day trip to Windsor Castle.

Before you go, you need to be sure that the castle is open to the public.The times it is open can change very quickly.Remember, it is still a working home and sometimes the Queen needs her privacy.Also, Windsor Castle is often expected by the British government to play host to political functions and royal receptions.

The best way to find out about the opening and closing times of Windsor Castle is to check the web site. If you can’t get to that, get in contact with the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. If you can’t get a hold of that, then get to the Visitor’s Centre of any major town or city in England. They can help you get the information you need. However, they will not be able to tell you how to meet the Queen.

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