Visit Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle's lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste". The castle includes the 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered by historian John Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design. More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor, making it the largest inhabited castle in the world.

 

Windsor Castle is owned by the Occupied Royal Palaces Estate on behalf of the nation but day to day management is by the Royal Household.  Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the longest-occupied palace in Europe, but it also remains a functioning royal home. As of 2006, around five hundred people were living and working in the castle. The Queen has increasingly used the castle as a royal palace as well as her weekend home and it is now as often used for state banquets and official entertaining as Buckingham Palace. In recent years, Windsor Castle has hosted visits from President Mbeki of South Africa, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Chirac of France. The castle remains an important ceremonial location. The Waterloo ceremony is carried out in the presence of the Queen each year, and the annual ceremony of the Order of the Garter takes place in St George's Chapel. Whilst the queen is in residence, the Guard Mounting ceremony occurs on a daily basis. The Royal Ascot procession leaves the castle each year during the annual meeting.

 

During the queen's tenure much has been done, not only to restore and maintain the fabric of the building, but also to transform it into a major British tourist attraction, containing a significant portion of the Royal Collection of art, which is managed from Windsor. Archaeological work has continued at the castle, following on from limited investigations in the 1970s, the work on the Round Tower from 1988–92 and the investigations following the 1992 fire. During 2007, 993,000 tourists visited the castle. This has had to be achieved in co-ordination with security issues and the castle's role as a working royal palace. In late 2011 two water turbines were installed along the River Thames to provide hydroelectric power to the castle and the surrounding estate.

 

Visit  the official castle website

History of Windsor Castle